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Published by Field Museum of Nstural History 



resulting from the 1965 street expedition 
(excluding bats) 

jerry d. hassinger 


APRIL 6, 1973 

Y ' • t liil 


A Continuation of the 








Published by Field Museum of Natural History 



resulting from the 1965 street expedition 
(excluding bats) 

jerry d. hassinger 

Street Expedition Fellow (February, 1965 to July, 1966) and 
Thomas J. Dee Fellow (August, 1966 to May, 1967) 
Field Museum of Natural History 

APRIL 6, 1973 


Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 72-9U20 




List of Text Figures ix 

List of Tables xi 

Introduction 1 

Acknowledgements 1 

Previous Collections 3 

Accounts of Species 7 

Insectivora 10 

Hemiechinus 10 

Paraechinus 15 

Crocidura 17 

Suncus 26 

Primates 29 

Macaca 29 

Lagomorpha 31 

Ocholona 31 

Lepus 36 

Rodentia 41 

Spermophilopsis 41 

Marmota 43 

Spermophiliis 44 

Hylopetes 46 

Petaurista 48 

Calomyscus 49 

Cricetulus 51 

AUicola 53 

Microtus 55 

Ellobius 63 

Gerbilltis 69 

Tatera 72 

Meriones 74 

Rhombomys 87 

Apodemus 89 

Rattus 93 

Mu8 97 

Nesokia 98 

Dryomys 102 

Jaculus 103 

Allactaga 106 

Salpingotus 113 

Hystrix 115 




Carnivora 117 

Cams 117 

Vulpes 120 

Selenardos 126 

Ursus 128 

Mustela 130 

Vormela 133 

Maries 135 

Mellivora 138 

Meles 139 

Luira 141 

Herpestes 142 

Hyaena 144 

Felts 146 

Lynx 158 

Acinonyx 159 

Perissodactyla 161 

Equus 161 

Artiodactyla 163 

Sus 163 

Cervus 163 

Moschus 165 

Gazella 165 

Capra 168 

Ovis 175 

Summary 179 

References 181 

Gazetteer 189 



1. Distribution of //«miecAtnus awn^MS in Afghanistan 11 

2. Distribution of Paraechinus hypomelas in Afghanistan 16 

3. Records and estimated limits of distribution for Crocidiira rmsula and 

Crocidura suaveolens 21 

4. Records and estimated limits of distribution for Suncus muriniis and 

Crocidura zarudnyi 27 

5. Distribution of Macaca mulatta in (Monsoonal) Afghanistan 30 

6. Records and estimated limits of distribution for Ochontona rufescens 

and O. macrotis in Afghanistan 34 

7. Distribution records of Lepus capensis. This hare is found throughout 

Afghanistan 37 

8. Records and estimated limits of distribution for Marmota caudata and 

Spermophilopsis leptodactylus 42 

9. Records and estimated limits of distribution for Spermophiltis fulvtis, 

Hylopetes fimbriatus, and Petaurista petaurista 46 

10. Records and estimated limits of distribution for Calomyscus bailwardi 50 

11. Records and estimated limits of distribution for Cnce/Mhts mififaion'Ms . 52 

1-2. Records and estimated limits of distribution for Alticola roylei and 

Microtus juldashi 54 

13. Records and estimated limits of distribution for Microtus afghanus . . 56 

14. Two records (circled) for Microtus socialis, and records and estimated 

limits of distribution for Microtus arvalis 61 

15. Records and estimated limits of distribution for Ellobius fuscocapillus 

and Ellobius talpinus 64 

16. Records and estimated limits of distribution for Gerbillus cheesmani 

and G. nanus 68 

17. Records and estimated limits of distribution for Ta/«ra tndica 73 

18. Records and estimated limits of distribution for Meriones crassus and 

Meriones meridianus 75 

19. Records and estimated limits of distribution for Meriones libycus ... 80 

20. Records and estimated limits of distribution for Meriones persicus and 

Meriones zarudnyi 84 

21. Records and estimated limits of distribution for Rhombomys opimus . . 88 

22. Records and estimated limits of distribution for Apodemus sylmticus . . 90 

23. Records and limits of distribution for Rattus rattoides and Rattus 

rattus 94 

24. Locality records and provisional (hence discontinuous) limits of distri- 

bution for Nesokia indica 99 

25. Records and limits of distribution for Dryomys nitedula 101 

26. Estimated limits of distribution for Jaculus blanfordi and Salpingotus 

michaelis 104 




27. Records and possible disjunct distribution shown for Allactaga elater . . 106 

28. Records and estimated limits of distribution for Allactaga euphratica 

and Allactaga hotsoni 110 

29. Records for Hystrix indica. Estimated distribution: below 2,600 m. 

throughout Afghanistan 116 

30. Records for Cam's /wpMS (circled) and Cams awreus (not circled) .... 119 

31. Records and estimated limits of distribution for Vulpes corsac and 

Vulpes ruppelU, and records for Viilpes cana (circled, and three 
extralimital) 121 

32. Records for Vulpes vulpes. Estimated distribution: below 3,000 m. 

throughout Afghanistan 124 

33. Records and estimated limits of current distribution for Selenarctos thi- 

hetanus and Ursus arctos 128 

34. Records (circled and extralimital for M. erminea) and provisional limits 

of distribution for Mustela erminea and Mustela nivalis 131 

35. Records and provisional (hence discontinuous) limits of distribution for 

Vormela peregusna 134 

36. Records and estimated limits of distribution for Martes foina and 

Maries flavigula 137 

37. Adjacent, extralimital records for Mellivora and range for Meles . . . 140 

38. Records and estimated limits of distribution for Herpestes auropunctatus . 143 

39. Records and estimated limits of distribution for Hyaena hyaena 145 

40. Records and estimated limits of distribution for Felis chaus, F. bengal- 

ensis, and Lynx lynx in Afghanistan 151 

41. Distribution records for Felis catus, F. manul, and Lynx caracal in 

Afghanistan 152 

42. Records and estimated limits of distribution for Felis tigris, F. uncia, 

and F. pardus in Afghanistan. Only locality records (one in Iran) are 
given for Acinonyx 157 

43. Records and estimated distribution in river valleys and reed swamps for 

Sus scrofa and Equus hemionus 161 

44. Estimated limits of current distribution for Cervus elaphus, Moschus 

moschiferus, and Gazella subgutturosa 166 

45. Records and estimated limits of distribution for Capra hircus 169 

46. Records and estimated limits of distribution for Capra ibex 171 

47. Records and estimated limits of distribution for Capra /aUconeri .... 173 

48. Records and estimated limits of distribution for Ovis ammon 177 

49. The natural areas and geographic relationships of Afghanistan .... 190 

50. Major natural features of Afghanistan and the geobotanical provinces 

of Linchevsky and Prozorovsky 191 



1. Measurements of adult Hemiechinus auritus subspecies from Afghanistan 13 

2. A comparison of 14 Hemiechinus auritiis with 29 specimens which were 

provisionally identified as H. megalotis 14 

3. Body dimensions of Crocidura and Suncus from Afghanistan, Iran, and 

West Pakistan 19 

4. Body measurements of Ochotona from Afghanistan 33 

5. Body measurements of L. capensis from Afghanistan 38 

6. Body measurements of Sciuridae from Afghanistan 45 

7. Body measurements of Cricetinae from Afghanistan 51 

8. Body dimensions of AUicola and Microtus from Afghanistan, Iran, and 

Southern U.S.S.R 58 

9. Body measurements of Ellobius from Afghanistan 65 

10. Body measurements of Ger6?7/MS and Ta/era from Afghanistan 70 

11. Body measurements of Meriones and Rhombomys opimiis from Afghan- 

istan 77 

12. Body measurements of Muridae and Gliridae from Afghanistan .... 92 

13. Body measurements of Dipodidae from Afghanistan 109 

14. Skull measurements of AWada^a spp. from Afghanistan 112 

15. Body measurements of some Canidae from Afghanistan 125 

16. Body measurements of some Felis from Afghanistan 148 


The present survey of 84 terrestrial mammal species known from 
or thought to occur in Afghanistan provides a compendious history 
of contributions, an account of each species including a map of rec- 
ords and estimated distribution, and a gazetteer of localities cited in 
text. It is based on a collection of 1,313 specimens contained in 58 
species resulting from the 1965 Street Expedition, and on a critical 
review of publications and other collections. 

Hassinger (1968) furnishes an introduction to the present paper 
and to the 1965 Street Expedition, its goals, organization, fieldwork, 
and preliminary results. The reader is referred to that introduction, 
especially to sections on physiography, climate, phytogeography, and 
mammal habitat. 

Excluding bats, this survey summarizes most of what is known 
about Afghan mammals, and therein shows that knowledge of this 
fauna is fragmentary and for some species virtually nonexistent. 
Twenty species are either not found in museum collections or are 
poorly represented by a single specimen, a skull, or by skins pur- 
chased from a furrier. This volume will have served its purpose if, 
in calling attention to and delineating such deficiencies, it arouses a 
general awareness of the need for further research. 


I am thankful for a second opportunity to offer in print my sin- 
cere and grateful appreciation to the following individuals and or- 
ganizations whose contributions (acknowledged in Hassinger, 1968, 
pp. 11-12), in great measure, form the basis for the present work: 
the staff of Field Museum of Natural History and, particularly, Field 
Associates William S. Street and his wife Janice K. Street, Dr. 
Joseph C. Moore, former Curator, Division of Mammals, Expedi- 
tion Fellow Hans Neuhauser, former staff artist Miss Marion Pahl, 
and Mrs. Dorothy Gibson, Supervisor, Herbaria; the International 
Harvester Company, especially Mr. and Mrs. Brian Reardon; and 
Dr. Robert E. Lewis and Mr. Sana Atallah of the American Uni- 
versity of Beirut. 


Political and logistical contributions of an adjuvant nature were 
not previously acknowledged. Without this valuable help access to 
Afghanistan and the freedom of movement enjoyed therein may have 
been denied the Street Expedition. In effect, the results presented 
in Hassinger (1968) and in the present paper are in no small part due 
to such efforts. The following list includes some of those to whom we 
are so indebted: American Ambassador John M. Steeves and his 
staff, notably Mr. Howard Ashford, Jr., and Mr. David Bergoon; 
Dr. A. G. Ravan Farhadi, Director General of Political Affairs in 
the Afghan Foreign Ministry; CARE, especially Frank Goffio, Presi- 
dent, and Field Representatives Henry Selz and Don Ostrander; 
University of Kabul, namely, the Dean of the Faculty of Science, 
Dr. Kakhar. 

Dr. J. C. Moore edited and re-edited each species account. 
Words seem inadequate to repay his devotion to this. To Dr. 
A. L. Rand, then Chief Curator of Zoology, Field Museum of Nat- 
ural History, I offer special thanks for making valued suggestions 
and for critically examining the final manuscript. I accept respon- 
sibility for any error. 


This section will survey all of the significant collections of Afghan 
mammals that have been reported in the literature, naming the 
collector, the year, nature of contribution, and general localities 
wherein specimens were obtained, but will not refer to a number of 
smaller collections. An important but unpublished collection of 
mammals made by members of the Third Danish Expedition to 
Central Asia (1948-1949) is included. Complete literature and lo- 
cality records for each species found or puiported to occur in Af- 
ghanistan will be given in the "Accounts of Species" section. 

The first scientific collection of Afghan mammals was made 
between August, 1839 and October, 1840, by William Griffith, a 
British army surgeon and botanist. The limited number of mam- 
mals he collected went to the Indian Museum, Calcutta, and are 
known in the literature from Anderson (1881) and Sclater (1891). 

A few of Griffith's specimens eventually found their way from 
the Indian Museum to the British Museum, notably the single 
specimen of dwarf jerboa, Salpingotus, with the label: "Afghanistan, 
W. Griffith," which Vinogradov described as a new species in 1928. 
There is considerable controversy and speculation as to where in 
Afghanistan Griffith collected this species. Some scientists think he 
actually obtained it during his travels in Tibet. Griffith's itinerary 
and the most probable habitat of this saltatorial rodent, known only 
from the type, is described in the species account of Salpingotus. 

Captain Thomas Hutton, an officer in the British army made the 
first extensive collection of terrestrial mammals in Afghanistan, and 
also reported on species not collected but said to occur in Afghanis- 
tan. He resided in Kandahar for two years, 1839 to 1841, and con- 
fined his observations largely to the vicinity of Kandahar and 
districts south of Ghazni. Hutton sent his specimens to Edward 
Blyth, curator of the Museum of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, and 
subsequently reported upon them as 28 species contained in 23 genera 
(Hutton, 1845, 1846). 

Between October, 1880 and April, 1881 Lt. Col. Swinhoe assem- 
bled a second collection of mammals from the vicinity of Kandahar 


and presented it to the British Museum where it was studied and 
published on immediately by Scully (1881). 

British members of the Afghan Delimitation Commission col- 
lected the first series of mammals from northwestern Afghanistan in 
1884-1886. A botanist, J.E.T. Aitchison, the naturalist of this 
Commission, left Quetta on September 21, 1884 to travel and collect 
through northern Baluchistan to the Helmand river, then west along 
the Helmand, through the Sistan and northward into western 
Afghanistan to the Hari Rud valley west of Herat, arriving inKohsan 
on November 18, 1884. From Kohsan, Aitchison crossed the 
Parapamisus mountains south of Gulran and traveled east north 
east through Kushk reaching Bala Murghab December 14, 1884. 
He left Bala Murghab two months later, and, continuing his mam- 
mal collections, traveled extensively during the spring of 1885 in 
northwestern Afghanistan both north and south of the Parapamisus 
Mountains, in the Hari Rud valley, and even to Mashhad in north- 
eastern Iran. Although Aitchison left the Delimitation Commission 
and Afghanistan about August 16, 1885, Capt. C.E. Yate, a commis- 
sioned officer attached to this mission, continued to collect mammals. 
Captain Yate collected in the vicinity of Herat, Bala Murghab, 
Maimana, and in the natural region called North Afghanistan. 

The Aitchison and Yate collections were studied and published 
in two separate papers, which, with a few exceptions, report on nearly 
duplicate sets of mammals. Captain Yate presented his collection 
to the Indian Museum and J. Scully (1887) published upon it as 13 
species. The mammals collected by J.E.T. Aitchison went to the 
British Museum where they were identified and described by Oldfield 
Thomas (in Aitchison, 1889) as 16 species of 13 genera collected, and 
seven other species of seven other genera observed but not taken. 

The foregoing assemblages of mammal specimens, all made by 
British military personnel whose major natural history interests were 
not in mammalogy but rather in botany or ornithology, resulted in 
the major contributions to knowledge of the mammals of Afghanistan 
prior to 1900. Almost 70 per cent of the species they collected can 
either be found in the fur bazaars of Afghanistan today or are those 
species which are easily caught by the Afghans themselves, such as 
hedgehogs, Hemiechinus; pikas, Ochotona; mice, Mus; and short- 
tailed mole rats, Nesokia. 

It was 100 years after the botanist, W. Griffith, made the first 
collections in Afghanistan that another British subject, J.L. Cha- 


worth-Musters, took the first expedition whose primary objective 
was to collect mammals in that country. This expedition had as a 
specific goal the collection of additional specimens of the dwarf 
jerboa, Salpingotus ikomasi, still known only from the specimen col- 
lected by Griffith a century before. A series of mammals was 
obtained, but no Salpingotus. The specimens Chaworth-Musters 
collected have received at least partial notice by Jordon (1944), 
Ellerman (1948), and Ellerman and Morrison-Scott (1951). Infor- 
mation in these reports indicates that Chaworth-Musters confined 
his collecting to the vicinity of Ghazni, Paghman, and the Shibar 
Pass. This is the first major collection of small mammals from east- 
ern Afghanistan and includes at least 18 species. 

Most of the species known to occur in Afghanistan up to 1946 are 
mentioned as such by Ellerman and Morrison-Scott in their Checklist 
of Palearctic and Indian Mammals, 1758 to 19^6. Subsequent to this 
monumental work, members of the Third Danish Expedition to Cen- 
tral Asia (1948-1949) collected 155 mammals in Afghanistan. Dr. 
Knud Paludan collected most of these specimens and compiled the 
unpublished "Notes on Afghanistan Mammals." I have the privilege 
of publishing on this important collection, housed in the Copenhagen 
University zoology Museum in Denmark, and on Dr. Paludan's 
notes, neither having heretofore received detailed recognition in 

J. Klapperich, collecting near Kandahar, Kabul, and the Salang 
Pass, obtained 51 small mammals of ten species in 1951 and 1952. 
These specimens were identified and published by Zimmerman 

A relatively comprehensive collection of mammals was made 
between 1962 and 1965 by E. Kullman and J. Niethammer, both 
members of the Faculty of Natural Science at the University of 
Kabul, as part of a liason between that University and the Univer- 
sity of Bonn in Germany. They have made a number of field trips 
for mammal collecting in various parts of Afghanistan, but most of 
their work has been confined to areas near Kabul and in Nuristan. 
Collecting routes beyond the vicinity of Kabul were, with a few ex- 
ceptions, similar to the ones shown for the present Street Expedition. 
Kullman and Niethammer have made the most extensive survey of 
the mammals of Afghanistan to date and their work was published in 
1965 — the Carnivora, Artiodactyla, and Primates by Kullman; the 
Insectivora, Lagomorpha, and Rodentia by Niethammer. 


In 1966 and 1967, Gaisler et al. (1967, 1968) collected 542 speci- 
mens comprising 15 species of Insectivora and Rodentia, 23 speci- 
mens belonging to nine species of Carnivora, and one each of two 
species of Lagomorpha. Systematic collecting and cursory ecological 
surveys were conducted in the area around Jalalabad, while occa- 
sional collections were made in eastern, central, and northeastern 
Afghanistan. Specimens are deposited in the Institute of Vertebrate 
Zoology, Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences, in Brno, Czechoslo- 


This section treats 84 species of free-living terrestrial mammals 
which are known to occur or have been reported to occur in Afghanis- 
tan, including 20 species for which evidence either is inadequate to 
map distribution with confidence or suggests they may no longer 
occur there. 

Every account provides the accepted scientific name, together 
with a citation to the original description of the species and its 
type locality. Specific names recorded in earlier faunal works deal- 
ing with Afghan mammals and which have subsequently been rele- 
gated to synonomy are listed as required. Following this standard 
introduction, each account is composed of two or three of the follow- 
ing major headings: 1) Distribution; 2) Taxonomic Notes and Dis- 
cussion; and 3) Field Notes and Discussion; or, in lieu of the latter 
two headings, Discussion. The general content of these sections is 
as follows: 

1. Distribution 

General: A very approximate geographic range is given for each 
species. These ranges are, with noted exceptions, based on records 
in EUerman and Morrison-Scott's Checklist of Palaearctic and Indian 
Mammals (1951) and on maps by Bobrinskii et al (1965), 

Afghanistan Records: Not all records are based on collections 
of specimens; some mammals were seen but not collected, and some 
published records are imperfectly documented. Where two or more 
papers refer to the same record, usually only the earliest is cited. 
Records are arranged chronologically under one of three categories: 

A) Published: Reference is made to practically every known 
record published prior to 1970, excepting specimens reported by 
Hassinger (1968, table 1) which are included under the follow- 
ing grouping. 

B) 1965 Street Expedition: This lists all the records tabulated 
by Hassinger (supra cit), but herein includes Field Museum of 
Natural History specimen numbers. All numbers not specifi- 


cally noted as "in alcohol," "skin only," or "skull only" refer to 
specimens constituted by skin and skull. 

C) Additional: This notes the authority for and localities of 
unpublished records that have been corresponded to me. Also, 
any Afghan specimen that I have studied but which cannot be 
included in either of the above categories is here listed by col- 
lector, an abbreviation for the name of the museum in which it 
is preserved, year of collection, and locality. 

The abbreviations used are: BM — British Museum (Natural 
History), London; FMNH — Field Museum of Natural History, 
Chicago; and CM — Copenhagen University Zoology Museum, 

Afghanistan distribution: With the exception of Mus musculus, 
distribution is mapped for each species. All records prior to 1968 are 
plotted according to their respective category as open circles, closed 
circles, and closed triangles. Where there is some doubt as to the 
provenance of a record a question mark is appended. Plots illus- 
trating 1965 Street Expedition records (closed circles) usually refer 
to the major localities discussed and illustrated by Hassinger (1968, 
pp. 57-73, fig. 24) and not to a specific collecting site within the major 
locality. Numbers affixed to closed circles show the number of 
specimens collected there. Specific collecting sites of rare or elusive 
species are further delineated in the text. 

Geographic distribution in Afghanistan is estimated and semi- 
schematically illustrated for each species on the basis of: 1) locality 
records and available habitat in Afghanistan, and 2) the range of the 
species in neighboring countries. 

Symbols and special notes in legends and captions render maps 
self-explanatory, thus for each account this subheading simply refers 
the reader to a map. 

Afghanistan Habitat: Altitudinal range and frequented biotopes 
are briefly discussed. Vegetation characteristic of observed habitat 
is described for some species, particularly rodents. When necessary 
and if possible these data will be supplemented from the literature. 
Special terms and biotopes are discussed and illustrated by Hassinger 
(1968, pp. 28-55, figs. 3-20). 

2. Taxonomic Notes and Discussion 

Species attributes which have immediate or potential systematic 
value and taxonomic problems created or elucidated by observations 
made during the present study are discussed as appropriate. 


Capitalized color terms are from Ridgway (1912). Color descrip- 
tions of pelage were based on observations made near a north-facing 
window between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. on non-cloudy days but 
never in direct sunlight. 

Mean and extreme body measurements are presented in tables 
for "Published, 1965 Street Expedition" and "Additional Records." 
When these records aggregate to fewer than four specimens for a 
species, dimensions of individuals (if available) are recorded in the 
text. Combining records from different sources was neither possible 
nor in some instances advisable, as some authors (c.f. EUerman, 
1948; Niethammer, 1965) provided means and/or extremes but not 
dimensions of individuals, and others did not specify how measure- 
ments were made. Combining such records could skew the results, 
especially for those species represented by small samples. Tabulated 
measurements and abbreviations are: 

Head and body length (HB) — The greatest length from the tip of 
the snout to the base of the tail. 

Tail length (T) — The greatest length from base to tip without 
terminal hairs. 

Hind foot length (HF) — Greatest length between the posterior- 
most extention of the calcar (heel) and the tip of the claw on the 
longest toe. 

Ear length (E) — The distance between the most proximal point 
of the anterior notch and the most distal point of the tip excluding 

All measurements are in millimeters unless otherwise specified. 
Specimens obtained by the 1965 Street Expedition were measured in 
the above manner but measurements gleaned from the literature or 
from tags of additional specimens may have been made differently. 
For example, Niethammer's (1965) measurements are similar in most 
respects to those of the Street specimens except the hindfoot was 
measured to the tip of the longest toe but excluding the length of the 
nail. Special notes are in subscripts under each table. 

Fresh, whole animal weights and skull measurements are incor- 
porated into the text as needed. Skull length, as here used, is the 
least distance on the skull from a line connecting the posteriormost 
margins of the condyles (or if more posterior, to the most posterior 
projection of the supraoccipital) to a line connecting the anteriormost 
projections of the premaxillary bones (or if more anterior, to the tip 
of the nasals). Skull lengths of shrews were measured from the 


anteriormost margins of the upper incisors to the posteriormost 
margin of the supraoccipital. Other skull measurements are used 
less; they are described by Cockrum (1957, pp. 33-39). 

3. Field Notes and Discussion 

This section may include interesting notes from published records, 
natural history observations, collecting techniques, and any other 
information originating from this study. 


In the event that collections, literature records, and field observa- 
tions are insufficient to warrant the use of either of the foregoing two 
headings (i.e., "Taxonomic Notes and Discussion" and "Field Notes 
and Discussion"), then the heading "Discussion" will be substituted. 


Hemiechinus auritus Gmelin Long-eared Hedgehog 

Erinaceus auritus Gmelin, 1770, Nov. Comment. Acad. Sci. Petrop., 14, p. 519. 
Type locality. — U.S.S.R., Astrakan Oblast, Astrakhan. 
The following species previously recorded from Afghanistan are 

considered to be subspecies of Hemiechinus auritus: 

Erinaceus collaris Gray, 1830, in Hardwicke, lUustr. Indian Zool. I, pi. 8. 

Doab, between the Rivers Jumna and Ganges, India. {Hemiechinus auritus 

collaris, fide EUerman and Morrison-Scott, 1951, p. 25.) 
Erinaceus albulus Stoliczka, 1872, Jour. Asiat. Soc. Bengal, 41, 2, p. 226. 

Langur, near Sandphu, Yarkand, Chinese Turkestan. (Hemiechinus auritus 

albulus, fide Ellerman and Morrison-Scott, 1951, p. 25.) 
Erinaceus megalotis Blyth, 1845, J. Asiat. Soc. Bengal, 14, p. 353 (footnote) 
Type locality. — Kandahar, Afghanistan. (Hemiechinus auritus 
megalotis, fide Niethammer (1969) and the present paper.) 

Distribution. — 

General: The southwest Palearctic Region from Asia Minor 
and Libya to western Mongolia and northwest India. 

Afghanistan Records: Blyth (1845, p. 353), Horsfield (1851, 
p. 136), Scully (1881, p. 223; 1887, p. 68), Aitchison (1889, p. 

Fig. 1. Distribution of Hemiechinus auritus in Afghanistan and a schematic 
approximation of: a) possible distribution limits (wavy lines) of subspecies major 
and megalotis and b) zone of apparent intergradation ("?") between subspecies 
persicus and megalotis. 



58), Zimmerman (1955, p. 189), Niethammer (1965, p. 19; 
1969, pp. 257-274). 

1965 Street Expedition: FMNH 102001-102037; in alcohol 
102006; skull only 102011, -28, -30. 

1939 Chaworth-Musters Expedition (Kabul, B.M. 47.359 
and 47.360). Third Danish Expedition, 1948-1949 (Obeh, 
and near Farah). 

Afghanistan Habitat: Hedgehogs, found from the lowest ele- 
vation to 3,000 m. in Afghanistan, were not seen in Wakhan, 
Badakshan, or in Monsoonal Afghanistan. They were col- 
lected in oases as frequently as in the steppes and semi- 
deserts, evidently frequenting the clay and loess biotope more 
than any other. 
Taxonomic Notes and Discussion. — 

Is Hemiechinus megalotis a good species or a subspecies of H. 

Blyth (1845, p. 353) notes: "the Siberian E. auritus is described, 
in Pennant's Quadrupeds, to have the 'upper jaw long and slender; 
with very large open ears, naked, brown round the edges, with soft 
whitish hairs within; tail shorter than that of the European Hedgehog: 
upper part of the body covered with slender brown spines, encom- 
passed at the base, and near the ends, with a ring of white: the belly 
and limbs clothed in a most elegant soft white fur.' The statements 
here italicized do not apply to the great-eared Afghan Hedgehog ..." 
According to Ellerman and Morrison-Scott (1951, p. 24) : "The 
British Museum material gives the following cranial measurements 
for H. megalotis, length of skull 52-56.9 mm. (average 54 mm, [sic] 
two specimens) . . . Our specimens of megalotis are from Kandahar 
and Baluchistan." They contend that H. auritus is a smaller hedge- 
hog albeit: "Ognev's form major can have the skull as large as in 
megalotis." Siddiqui (1961, p. 94), studying five megalotis from 
Baluchistan, distinguishes megalotis as having the longest spine not 
less than 25 mm. while the longest spine on H. auritus was not more 
than 20 mm. Niethammer (1965, p. 21) mentions that H. megalotis 
"... resembles H. auritus, but is larger. Its color varies in Afghanis- 
tan from nearly white to nearly black." He concludes that: "The 
measurements of both species will probably prove to overlap when 
more material becomes available." Niethammer (1969, pp. 257- 
274), reporting on additional specimens, shows ". . . that if the criteria 
given in the literature (size, length of spines, number of light and 
dark bars on the spines, and color of the ventral side) are considered. 


Table 1. — Measurements of adult Hemiechinus aurilus subspecies 
from Afghanistan. 

Measurements (mean and extremes), in mm. 
Record size Head and body Tail Hind foot Ear 

C.-Musters 2 250 and 255 29 and 30 41 and 40 50 and 48 

Zimmerman (1955)' 1 195 22 41 48 

1965 Street Exp.' 8 190-264 (212) 20-36 (26) 41-46 (44) 39-58 (48) 

1965 Street Exp.« 13 164-259(231) 20-34(27) 42-49(45) 42-52(48) 

1965 Street Exp.^ 1 207 29 43 46 

3rd Danish Exp.^ 7 156-210 (186) 20-35 (27) 36-40 (38) 41-45 (44) 

• Hemiechinus auritus megalotis collected near Kabul and Kandahar. 
- Hemiechinus auritus major collected near Kunduz, Mazar-i-Sharif, Mai- 
mana, and Herat. 

' Hemiechinus auritus (persicus-megalotis "intergrades") collected near Farah and 
Kang is South Afghanistan. 

H. megalotis is a subspecies of H. auritus." Gropp et al. (1969, p. 
302) report identical karyotypes for auritus and megalotis, concluding 
they are subspecies of a single species. Lay (1967, p. 119) identified 
17 megalotis from near Zabol, Iran (about 50 km. west of Kang, 
Afghanistan) distinguishing them as allopatric from auritus and 16 
possessing brownish instead of whitish ventral pelage. 

I made provisional field identifications using Blyth's and Lay's 

Before me is a sample of skins and skulls of hedgehogs including 
22 H. auritus (from North, Northwest, and West Afghanistan) and 
35 specimens (Baluchistan, 2; Zabol, Iran, 17; and South and Central 
Afghanistan, 16) provisionally identified as megalotis. At the Univer- 
sity of Copenhagen Museum I have also examined eight megalotis 
and at the British Museum seven megalotis skulls including the 
lectotype from Kandahar. As shown in Tables 1 and 2 these speci- 
mens exhibit a marked variation in size or color or both, within 
samples from single localities as well as between samples from two 
or more localities. 

Table 2 shows that the mean and extreme skull and spine lengths 
for auritus and alleged megalotis are similar. Variation within or 
between localities is not shown in this table. For example: The mean 
and extreme skull lengths and fresh weights for the Kunduz, Zabol 
(Iran), and Paghman samples (sample size is in parentheses) are 
respectively, 50.2-5^.5-55.9 (8), 496 g. (10) ; 49.4-50.5-52.5 (14), 320 g. 
(14); and 53.0-55.0-57.3 (6), 806 g. (5), indicating that white bellied 
hedgehogs (H. auritus) from the steppes north of Kunduz are inter- 



mediary in size between brownish or greyish beUied hedgehogs 
(supposed megalotis) from Zabol and brown-to-black bellied "megalo- 
tis" from Paghman. These measurements and weights are of adults 
with well-worn molars. There is also too much individual variation 

Table 2. — A comparison of 14 Hemiechinus auritus with 29 specimens 
which were provisionally identified as H. megalotis. 

(Measurements in mm.) 


Mean Extremes 
53.0 50.2-55.9 
54.6 47.7-58.4 

Length of 
longest spinel 

Color of 
ventral pelage' 

H. auritus 
H. megalotis 

Mean Extremes 
24.7 20.0-31.9 
24.9 20.7-30.0 




Not All 


1 Refers to the length of the longest spine examined by the present investi- 
gator. Samples of spines were taken from the rear of the carapace. 

^ Measurements were taken from 43 adult specimens. However, figures in these 
columns also include juveniles and 50 unreported individuals from near Zabol, 
Iran, that were examined and then discarded by Douglas M. Lay (pers. 

in the length and color pattern of mid-dorsal spines taken from the 
front, middle, and rear of 33 skins to permit detection of geographic 
variation or sympatric species differences in these characters. The 
size of bullae, length of the maxillary toothrow, greatest width across 
the upper molars, and the zygomatic and postorbital breadth also 
show too much variation and overlap. No character of dimension 
or color could be found consistently to separate H. auritus from 
alleged H. megalotis. 

On the basis of the foregoing evidence I consider the H. "megalo- 
tis" collected from Paghman, Kandahar, and Baluchistan to be a 
large montane subspecies of H. auritus having Benzo Brown to black 
ventral pelage. Measurements of the hedgehogs of medium size with 
white bellies from the steppes of North, Northwest and northern 
West Afghanistan are on the average larger but overlap with those 
of a similarly colored subspecies H. auritus major described by Ognev 
(1928, pp. 135, 136) Ashabad, Transcaspia, Russian Turkestan. The 
dimensions of smaller hedgehogs from the marshes and semi-deserts 
surrounding Zabol, Kang, and Farah are similar to those given by 
Ognev (1928, pp. 139, 140) for H. auritus persicus described from 
Guljander (in Iran, and approximately 250 km. northeast of Zabol), 
but their[generally non-whitejventral pelage is megalotis-like, except 


for one specimen from Zabol, and two specimens from Farah which 
have respectively white and light-greyish venters and are thus per- 
haps phenotypically indistinguishable from typical persicus. As there 
are no obvious barriers separating the type localities of persicus and 
megalotis, the foregoing suggests that the Sistan Basin is a zone of 
intergradation for these subspecies. 

If we correlate the habitat of the aforementioned subspecies with 
their mean size, we find the largest subspecies was collected within or 
near the mountains of Afghanistan and Baluchistan, a smaller sub- 
species(s?) is living on the steppes of North, Northwest, and northern 
West Afghanistan, but the smallest race(s) is living in the semi- 
deserts and marshes in the Sistan Basin. 

Field Notes and Discussion. — 

Three of four adult females collected near Paghman in July con- 
tained embryos. One had four embryos, the other two had five. 
Thirteen hedgehogs collected were crossing roads — two of these were 
scavenging watermelon rinds lying on the highway. Of two hedge- 
hogs trapped from burrows, one was using a burrow in the middle of 
a small colony of Meriones libycus. This latter specimen is a juvenile. 

By October Hemiechinus found near Kandahar were hibernating. 
None were seen on or along roads. Five of these hibernators were 
collected from deep crevices in the structure biotope, four from the 
same crevice. One was forced out of an unused irrigation pipe (10 
cm. in diameter). Farther south and 500 m. lower, near Kang, 
hedgehogs were found wandering around on the dry saline mud flats 
of the Helmand Delta in November. 

Paraechinus hypomelas Brandt Brandt's Hedgehog 

Erinaceus hypomelas Brandt, 1836, Bull. Sci. St. Petersburg, 1, p. 32. 
Type locality. — Northern Persia. 

Erinaceus macracanthus Blanford, 1875, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., 16, p. 310. 

Near Kerman (Carmania), 5,000-6,000 ft. (1,524-1,829 m.), Persia. 
Paraechinus amir, 1918, Thomas, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., I, p. 232. Kandahar, 


Distribution. — 

General: From West Pakistan to Arabia and north across the 
Iranian Plateau as far as Samarkand Prov. in Uzbekistan, 
S.S.R. and Ust-Urt in Turkmeniya, S.S.R. 

Afghanistan Records: Scully (1881, p. 224); Murray (1887, 
p. 118) lists E. macracanthus from: "Zandra, S. Afghanistan." 

o (n h f 










This locality is east of Quetta, W. Pakistan. Murray (1887, 
pp. 49-68, 105-131) lists many locality records of various 
mammal species for southern Afghanistan, which today are 
within the confines of Baluchistan. 

1965 Street Expedition: FMNH 102038, -039. 
Niethammer (1967, in lUt.\ Paktia). 

Afghanistan Habitat: The Street Expedition collected this 
species from the Jalalabad Vale. One was taken from a shallow 
cave with many bats {Rhinopoma microphyllum) , a second 
from the roadside between Jalalabad and the Khyber Pass; 
both from below 1,000 m. in the clay and loess biotope. 

Discussion. — 

The specimen that Scully (1881, p. 224) refers to E. macracanthus 
was collected at Kandahar by C. Swinhoe. Thomas (1918, p. 232) 
re-describes this same specimen as P. amir. 

Compared with Hemiechinus auritus, Paraechinus is a darker 
hedgehog, appearing black rather than grey when viewed from above, 
but, the most distinguishing character is the medial parting of the 
spines on the crown leaving a narrow nude space there. Neither hair 
nor spines are found in this space. 

The two specimens collected by the Street Expedition were young 
males measuring: HB, 218, 216; T, 22, 33; HF, 38, 40; and E, 42, 41. 

One specimen found in a shallow cave on August 3 was lethargic 
but not hibernating; the second was captured October 22 while 
crossing a paved road east of Jalalabad. These were the only hedge- 
hogs seen in the Jalalabad Vale. 

The genus Hemiechinus was conspicuously absent in the Jalalabad 
Vale or, compared with localities where Hemiechinus was collected or 
observed, the population must have been extremely sparse. By con- 
trast, the population density of Paraechinus must have been high. 
Niethammer (1967, in litt.), collecting throughout Afghanistan, 
found one specimen. Lay (1967, p. 121) collected remains of a speci- 
men of Paraechinus in Iran while seeing over 60 hedgehogs of the 
genera Hemiechinus and Erinaceus. Hedgehogs were usually col- 
lected by hunting and usually before midnight, but were also pur- 
chased from villagers. 

Crocidura suaveolens Pallas Lesser Bicolored 

White- toothed Shrew 
Sorex suaveolens Pallas, 1811, Zoogr. Ross. As., 1, p. 133, pi. 9, fig. 2. 


Type locality. — Ukrainian S.S.R.: Crimea; Khersones. 

Distribution. — 

General: Its principal distribution forms a belt between lati- 
tudes 30° and 55°N across the entire Palearctic Faunal Region, 
so that it seems to be found from Germany and Morocco east 
through the deserts of Central Asia to Korea. It is con- 
spicuously absent from all but the northeasternmost parts of 
the Oriental Faunal Region. In Iran, it was collected on the 
northern slopes of the eastern Elburz Mountains and on the 
Turkmen Plains (Lay, 1967, p. 128). 

Afghanistan Records: 1965 Street Expedition: FMNH 
102040-66; in alcohol 102041, -52, -53, -54, -56, -58; skin only 

Afghanistan Habitat: Collected in the clay-and-loess, rock, 
and structure biotopes between 500 and 2,500 m. in North, 
Northwest, and West Afghanistan. Its microhabitat is char- 
acterized by vegetation having medium to high density, 
medium shade, one, two or three strata, irregular distribution 
and medium to high homogeneity. 

Taxonomic Notes and Discussion.— 

The mean and extreme dimensions of 18 skulls of individuals 
considered adult are: greatest length, 17.4-19.0 (18.3); cranial 
breadth, 7.9-8.5 (8.2) ; width between infraorbital foramina, 3.2-3.6 
(3.4); and greatest antorbital width, 5.3-6.1 (5.7). 

The color of the dorsal pelage ranges from Drab-Gray in juveniles 
to Drab in adults. 

This shrew resembles the subspecies C. sitaveolens iliensis Miller 
as described by Ognev (1928, pp. 360-366). Its short tail dis- 
tinguishes it from other species of shrews found in Afghanistan. 
Body measurements are compared with those of other species of 
Crocidura in Table 3. 

Field Notes and Discussion. — 

Many Street Expedition specimens were collected in oases. An 
apparently dense population was discovered on an Afghan govern- 
ment experimental farm west of Mazar-i-Sharif. Traps placed along 
shallow irrigation ditches supplying a fallow terrace with water 
assured us a good sample of this population. Three lactating females 
were collected here on August 30. On September 6 a nest containing 




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three juveniles, two males and a female, was found here under a 
small pile of weeds surrounded by a thick stand of grass. These 
juveniles had lighter colored pelage than adults taken nearby. For 
each of 14 shrews we caught two house mice. 

Crocidura russula Hermann (Common European) 

White-toothed Shrew 

Sorex russulus Hermann, 1780, in Zimmerman, Geogr. Gesch., 2, p. 382. 

Type locality. — Eastern France, Bas-Rhin near Strasbourg. 

Distribution. — 

General: This species is widely distributed in the temperate 
and subtropical zone from Spain and Algeria to Japan and 

Afghanistan Records: Niethammer (1965, p. 22). 
1939 Chaworth-Musters Expedition (Paghman, Shibar Pass) . 

1965 Street Expedition: FMNH 102067-122, 102124-133; in 
alcohol 102082, -085, -088, -090, -118, -119, -121, -133; skull 
only 102095. 
Third Danish Expedition, 1948-1949 (Kabul). 

Afghanistan Habitat: This shrew was collected between 
1,000 and 3,000 m. in montane Afghanistan; the largest number 
being taken in the watercourse and structure biotopes. 

Taxonomic Notes and Discussion. — 

The mean and extreme dimensions of 39 skulls are: greatest lenght 
of skull, 18.2-20.0 (19.1); condylo-premaxillary length, 16.6-18.5 
(17.6); cranial width, 8.3-9.3 (8.7); width between infraorbital for- 
amina, 3.2-3.8 (3.5); and greatest antorbital width, 5.5-6.4 (6.0). 
Comparing these figures with similar measurements (c.f. page 23) 
for C. zarudnyi shows russula skulls to be larger, especially in the two 
characters herein italicized. As noted by Ellerman and Morrison- 
Scott (1951, p. 72), russula does not have the tail as much as 70 per 
cent of the head and body, which is, however, a characteristic of C. 

The general color of the dorsal pelage ranges from Hair Brown to 
Chaetura Drab gradually changing to Drab-Gray ventrally. 

Comparison of C. russula with C. zarudnyi streetorum from the 
same locality shows the C. russula to be perceptibly darker; their 
backs appearing dark grayish-brown and not, as described for C. Z. 
streetorum, grizzled brownish-gray. 



Field Notes and Discussion. — 

Sixty-one of the 66 Crocidura russula trapped were taken from 
rocky terrain. All 66 came from places with free water accessible in 
the form of a nearby stream or irrigation ditch, but the kind of vege- 
tation had no apparent affect on their local or geographic distribu- 
tion. They were trapped in evergreen oak and coniferous forests in 
Nuristan, along alfalfa fields and in willow thickets in northeast 
Afghanistan, under mulberry trees in the Paghman oasis, and along 
irrigation ditches lined with camel thorn near Ghazni. They were 
consistently captured in sites with vegetation having a low homo- 
geneity. Traps set in this typical habitat near Jalalabad and 
Kandahar, however, failed to yield any shrews. 

Sixty-four shrews were trapped in museum special snap traps 
baited with small amounts of our usual (stock) bait, a mixture of pea- 
nut butter, oatmeal, and raisins. A single shrew was captured in a 
trap baited with the liver of a migratory hamster. This was an 
unsatisfactory bait because in dry Afghanistan meat desiccates 
rapidly, and no shrews were captured with dry meat. 

Crocidura zarudnyi Ognev East Persian White-toothed Shrew 

Crocidura zarudnyi Ognev, 1928, Mamm. E. Europe, N. Asia, I, p. 341, New 
name for tatianae Ognev, 1921, nee DoUman, 1915. 

Type locality. — East Persia near the Baluchistan border. 

Distribution. — 

General : C. zarudnyi has been collected from the Sistan Basin 
in Iran (Lay, 1967, p. 129, as pergrisea), Baluchistan (Siddiqi, 
1961) and in Lyallpur, W. Pakistan (Taber, 1967, p. 369), and 
now in Afghanistan. 

Afghanistan Records: Hassinger (1970, pp. 5-8). 
1965 Street Expedition: FMNH 102123, -34, -35, -36. 

Afghanistan Habitat: Ranging from 200 to 3,000 m. in the 
rock, and structure /clay-and-loess biotopes. This species was, 
without exception, found in dryer situations in Afghanistan, 
Iran (Lay, 1967, p. 129), and in W. Pakistan (Taber, 1967, p. 
395) than was C. russula or C. suaveolens. 

Taxonomic Notes and Discussion. — 

Ellerman (1951, pp. 72, 83) includes C. zarudnyi as a subspecies of 
C. pergrisea saying: "we have not seen pergrisea, but from descrip- 
tions it is very like the Baluchistan form, zarudnyi, which it ante- 


dates." At this writing I have before me both paratypical specimens 
of C. pergrisea, the three specimens of the C. zarudnyi placed in 
synonomy by Ellerman, a specimen from Lyallpur, W. Pakistan, 
six C. zarudnyi (pergrisea) collected by the earlier Street Expedition 
(Lay, 1967) from the Sistan Basin, and our four from montane 
habitat in Afghanistan. 

A number of measurable differences are observed between the 
samples of Crocidura zarudnyi and C pergrisea as follows: 

In total length (whether obtained as tip of snout to tip of tail 
excluding hair, or as head-and-body length plus tail length) means 
and extremes (in millimeters) of 14 zarudnyi are 103.9 (96-116) 
compared to the 125, 128, and 129 of three pergrisea. 

In greatest length of skull 11 zarudnyi are 18.1 (16.9-19.0) com- 
pared to 20.0 and 20.1 of two pergrisea. 

In greatest condylo-premaxillary length of skull 12 zarudnyi are 
(16.5-18.2) compared to 19.0, 19.1, and 19.3 of three pergrisea. 

In greatest cranial breadth 12 zarudnyi are 7.9 (7.5-8.3) com- 
pared to 8.7, 8.8, and 8.9 for three pergrisea. 

The length of the longest mystacial in 12 zarudnyi is 22 mm.; 
whereas that in two pergrisea is 27. The longest dorsal hairs in 12 
zarudnyi are 6 mm., but in two pergrisea are 8 mm. 

The base of the dorsal hair of C. pergrisea (collected in October) 
from near Shigar, Baltistan, Kashmir, 2,900 m., is Dark Mouse 
Gray followed by a 1 mm. band of white and tips varying from 
Cinnamon Drab to Hair Brown, giving their pelage an extremely 
pilose, grizzled, pale grayish-hrown appearance. The base of the 
dorsal hair of C. zarudnyi (collected in November) from Iran, mon- 
tane Baluchistan and Lyallpur, 100-2,400 m., is Deep Mouse Gray 
(lighter than Dark Mouse Gray) followed by a narrow 0.5 mm. 
band of white and tips of Cinnamon Drab, giving their pelage a 
slightly grizzled, dull cinnamon-brown (Cinnamon Drab) appear- 
ance. Four C. zarudnyi (collected in July, August, and October) 
from mountains in Afghanistan, 2,250-2,650 m., have dorsal hairs 
similar to those of pergrisea but shorter and without Cinnamon 
Drab tips, giving their dorsal pelage a much less pilose, less grizzled, 
brownish-gray appearance. 

Thus, the very small sample of Crocidura pergrisea seems to be of 
a substantially larger form than zarudnyi, and one that differs 
markedly from C. zarudnyi in October pelage. These differences 


seem to me to be great enough to justify recording them here as 
separate species. 

I have not seen the habitat of C. pergrisea, but the site of its 
collection, in glacier-scarred, rocky mountains of Baltistan, has a 
mean elevation of approximately 3,000 m. and must be quite unlike 
the low (200 m.) saline semi-deserts of the Sistan Basin wherein we 
obtained these possible topotypes of Crocidura zarudnyi. The mon- 
tane specimens of C. zarudnyi from Afghanistan were each collected 
from topography surely more similar to that of Baltistan for being 
between 2,300 and 2,700 m. elevation: one was collected at the 
entrance to the Wakhan Corridor, about 400 km, northwest of the 
type locality (Skoro Loomba, Shigar, Baltistan) of C. pergrisea. 
However, this more "topographically related" form of C. zarudnyi 
is almost as different from C pergrisea as its low desert counterpart. 

So far I have been concerned to distinguish the several samples of 
C. zarudnyi from a single sample of C. pergrisea and have collectively 
referred to the four specimens from Afghanistan as a montane sample 
of C. zarudnyi. The measurements of these four specimens overlap 
those of typical C. zarudnyi from Iran and southern West Pakistan in 
every character, however, as described above, their average and 
extreme total length is greater, and their dorsal color is brownish-gray 
and not, as shown for other zarudnyi, dull cinnamon-brown. Judge- 
ment concerning size differences between lowland and montane 
zarudnyi cannot be conclusive until additional specimens become 
available, but the color difference is so pronounced and so consistent 
for the four localities (Ishkamish, Badakhshan; Shibar Pass, Central 
natural area; and Ghazni and Gardez of the Eastern natural area), 
that subspecific recognition must be considered. 

The montane sample of zarudnyi was only collected in the rock 
biotope, but lowland specimens reported from the Sistan Basin (Lay, 
1967, p. 129) were taken in the structure and clay-loess biotopes, and 
from Lyallpur, W. Pakistan (Taber, 1967, p. 395) on a ". . . xeric 
tropical thorn plain." The Afghan sample ranges, as illustrated in 
Figure 4, from 33°37'N to 36°43'N, and of the other samples the 
northernmost is (Lyallpur) 31°25'N. Besides biotope and latitude 
the Afghan samples are separated from the more southern samples 
by altitude, the lowest Afghan one being 2,250 m. and the highest 
and lowest others being Kelat and Turbat (Ellerman and Morrison- 
Scott, 1951, p. 83) approximately 2,000 and 100 m. 

In summary, I find the size, color, and distribution of the four 
Afghan specimens to be unlike that of any other shrew population 


presently known from the Iranian Plateau or West Pakistan. This 
difference is the basis for description of a new subspecies: 

Crocidura zarudnyi streetorum new subspecies. 

Type.— FUNK No. 102123, adult female from Afghanistan: 30 
km. northwest of Ghazni, approximately 33°43'N 68°15'E; collected 
October 8, 1965 by Jerry Hassinger, from dry, rocky habitat de- 
scribed in Hassinger (1968, fig. 8). 

Description. — The type and three paratypes (FMNH 102134- 
102136) consist of skins and skulls. The body measurements for the 
type are HB, 58; T, 45; HF, 12; E-8. Its skull measures: greatest 
length, 18.3; condylo-premaxillary length, 17.5; cranial width, 8,0. 
The dorsal pelage is slightly grizzled, brownish-gray gradually chang- 
ing low on the sides to white or Pale Smoke Gray ventral pelage con- 
sisting of hairs with Dark Mouse Gray bases tipped with white. Tail 
is Pale Smoke Gray, the proximal third being almost unicolor, the 
distal two-thirds having a dorsal stripe of hairs resembling the dorsal 
pelage. The feet are Light Buff to white. 

Diagnosis. — Differs from the typical form in the following: 1) 
grayer color; 2) greater total length. The general hue of the dorsal 
pelage for typical zarudnyi and C. z. streetorum is, respectively: dull 
cinnamon-brown, and brownish-gray. The average total length for 
12 C. z. zarudnyi and four streetorum is respectively: 102 mm. and 
109 mm. 

Material examined. — Crocidura pergrisea, 2 — USNM 175917, 
175919; Kashmir: Skoro Loomba; Shigar, Baltistan. Crocidura 
zarudnyi zarudnyi, 10— BM,, 19.11.83, 64.1195; 
West Pakistan : Panjgur, Turbat, Kelat, and Lyallpur, respectively. 
FMNH 96403 and 96409-13; Iran: Kerman (Seistan): 24 km. south- 
west of Zabol. Crocidura z. streetorum, 4 — FMNH 102123 and 
102134-36; Afghanistan: see Figure 4 for localities. 

The author considers it a privilege to name this subspecies in 
honor of William S. and Janice K. Street. 

More specimens of the above forms would permit a more precise 
evaluation of their relationships. Series of specimens from the 
Pamirs, Kashmir, Tibet, and the Himalayas would be material for a 
significant contribution to the taxonomy of these species. 

Field Notes and Discussion. — 

Niethammer (1965, p. 22) identified parts of shrew skulls, found 
in pellets of Asio otus from Kang in Sistan, as C. russula. Dr. 


Niethammer kindly sent me his most nearly complete skull from this 
locality. It is virtually identical to skulls of zarudnyi collected near 
Zabol, Iran (about 50 km. west of Kang); its greatest length and 
cranial width being 18.2 and 7.9, respectively. (See C. russula, p. 
20, for characters distinguishing these species.) 

C. zarudnyi streetorum is widely distributed, however, we never 
succeeded in catching more than a single specimen in any specific 
locality. This shrew was found in the habitat of the mouse-like 
hamster, Calomyscus bailwardi, and taken in traps set specifically for 
C. bailwardi, excepting for the one specimen from the Wakhan, which 
was caught in talus about 50 m. from a heavily vegetated gully 
having a large population of Alticola roylei. 

Suncus murinus Linnaeus House Shrew 

Sorex murinus Linnaeus, 1766, Syst. Nat., 12th ed., I, p. 74. 
Type locality. — Java. 

Distribution. — 

General: Southern Asia from southeastern China to Egypt. 
The range of this species has been modified by commensalism 
with man. It has at least a sporadic distribution throughout 
the Oriental Region reaching north of it to Japan, and it is also 
found in some southwest Asian Palearctic countries and some 
northeastern countries of the Ethiopian Region. 

Afghanistan Records: Horsfield (1851, p. 134), Niethammer 
(1965, p. 22), Gaisler et. al. (1967, p. 358). 

1965 Street Expedition: FMNH 103137-42. 

Afghanistan Habitat: The house shrew was collected in the 
Jalalabad Vale and Chagha Sarai. It was taken between 700 
and 900 m. in the structure and watercourse /rock biotopes. 

Taxonomic Notes and Discussion. — 

Suncus murinus griffithi was collected by William Griffith and 
described as Sorex griffithi, from Afghanistan, by Horsfield (1851, p. 
134). Blyth (1856) states: "We suspect that S. griffithii Horsfield, 
of that naturalist's Catalogue of the specimens of Mammalia in the 
Honeurable Company's Museum is no other than our presumed 

Fig. 4. The records and estimated limits of distribution for Suncus murinus 
(S) and Crocidura zarudnyi (Z). Records for C. zarudnyi streetorum are circled 
and a zone of possible intergradation (wavy lines) between this subspecies (z.s.) 
and other zarudnyi is hypothesized. 



Murinus from the Arakan and Khasya Hills, although described 
from Afghanistan, because we saw a fine skin from Cherra Punji in 
the possession of the late Mr. Griffith, which was forwarded to the 
India House by Mr. M'Clelland; and we have previously had 
occasion to remark; that specimens of reptiles procured by Mr. 
Griffith in Afghanistan and in the Khasya Hills, had manifestly 
become mixed and confounded; whence certain important mistakes 
concerning habitats." Cherra Punji is in Assam, about 42 air kilo- 
meters N.N.W. of Sylket. Ellerman and Morrison-Scott (1951, p. 
7) commenting on the type for Suncus murinus griiffithi, states the 
label of the type has "Afghanistan," but this has been crossed out 
and "Silket" substituted. They refer the reader to Lindsay (1929, 
p. 333). Lindsay, in reference to the above comments by Blyth 
remarks: "... Blyth's explanation seems so reasonable that this 
shrew had been inadvertently entered as from Afghanistan, rather 
than Assam, and since he himself saw a specimen in the possession 
of Dr. Griffith, which undoubtedly came from Cherrapunji, Assam, 
it is safe to assume that Blyth is right and so grifithi denotes the 
Hill species of Assam." 

I have examined the type of Suncus murinus grifithi (B. M. 79.11.- 
21.471) and 20 specimens from the Arakan and Khasya Hills, five of 
which are from Cherrapunji, the proposed type locality for grifithi. 
My observations support those of Blyth (1856) and Lindsay (1929), 
in that the specimens from the Hills of Assam resemble the type 
specimen of grifithi, while our specimens from Afghanistan have 
lighter colored (Drab to Hair Brown) dorsal pelage and are smaller 
than grifithi. The greatest skull length for the type and two adults 
from Cherrapunji is over 34.0 mm. while the longest of six skulls 
from Afghanistan is 32.2 mm. 

If Cherrapunji is indeed the type locality for grifithi, we are 
left with the question : Is Suncus murinus grifithi a junior synonym 
of Suncus murinus soccatusi Ellerman and Morrison-Scott (1951, 
p. 66) following Lindsay (1929, p. 333) includes Sorex heterodon 
Blyth (1855, J. Asiat. Soc. Bengal, 24, p. 31) as a synonym of Suncus 
murinus soccatus Hodgson (1845, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., 15, p. 270). 
The type locality for Sorex heterodon is Cherrapunji, in the Khasi 
Hills, Assam. Thus, if heterodon and grifithi are so similar as well as 
geographically close, and heterodon is a synonym of soccatus, then 
for the hill of subspecies of Assam the name grifithi is also a junior 
synonym of soccatus from the Central Region of Nepal. This in- 


quiry reaches a little beyond the projected scope of this paper, but 
a cursory comparison of 10 soccatus from the vicinity of Darjeeling 
with the aforementioned specimens from Cherrapunji did not reveal 
any characters which would consistently separate these two named 

Field Notes and Discussion. — 

In the Jalalabad bazaar three house shrews were procured by pro- 
viding the owners of various stores with traps. We trapped a single 
specimen from one of a series of burrows in the weedy garden of a 
hotel. The other burrows there yielded three Nesokia indica. Two 
shrews were collected west of Jalalabad: one from Laghman and the 
other in a small seepage covered with rocks and dense vegetation, 
draining a steep slope about 11 km. west of Jalalabad. This is the 
first collection of this synanthrope from other than the structure 
biotope in Afghanistan. 

These shrews were trapped using museum specials baited with 
peanut butter, oatmeal, and raisins. 

Macaca mulatta Zimmerman Rhesus Macaque 

Cercopithecus mulatta Zimmerman, 1780, Geogr. Gesch. Mensch., 2, p. 195. 

Type locality. — "India." 

Distribution. — 

General: This sub-tropical, short-tailed macaque has its 
centers of distribution between 25 and 30° north latitude rang- 
ing from eastern China through northern Vietnam, Burma, and 
India, and along the southern flanks of the Himalayas to 
Monsoonal Afghanistan. The most north-western record of 
this macaque is Nuristan in Afghanistan. 

Afghanistan Records: Babur in the sixteenth century A. D. 
(1921, p. 213); Kullman (1965, pp. 15, 16). 
1965 Street Expedition: FMNH 102839. 

Afghanistan Habitat: This species has a disjunct distribu- 
tion in Afghanistan. Kullman (1965) states: "Monkeys live 
in large numbers in the forests of Nuristan and Paktia." The 
Street Expedition obtained its single specimen by purchase 
alive in Kandahar, but it was said to have been captured north 
of Chagha Sarai. 



Discussion. — 

The specimen, a young female, had been captured as an infant 
and maintained in captivity for 15 months. 

I could find no measurements of Afghan macaques in the litera- 
ture, therefore the following skin and skull measurements are in- 
cluded: HB, 355; T, 182; HF, 123; E, 42; width of braincase— 61.1; 
zygomatic width — 63.7; greatest length — 84.6; distance from a line 
connecting the anterior alveolar edge of the upper incisors to the 
most posterior margin of the nasals — 28.1; skull length from the 
posterior margin of the nasals to the most posterior bulge of the 
braincase — 80.0. By its dentition (all deciduous still, except for the 
permanent first molars, of course) Dr. Jack Fooden, Research Asso- 
ciate, Field Museum, places its age at two years and advises that 
adulthood is attained at about five years. 

A specimen which became the type of a subspecies, Macaca 
mulatta mcmahoni Pocock (1932), was collected at Kootai in lower 
Chitral, W. Pakistan, between the Bashgul Valley in Kafiristan 
(=Nursitan) and the Chitral Valley at 3,600 ft. 

I can find no reference to an actual collection of this species from 
Afghanistan, although different authors state monkeys can be found, 
or were seen in Monsoonal Afghanistan. Kullman (1965, pp. 15, 
16) gives no specific locality for any observation of a wild one. I was 
privileged to visit the Zoological Garden in Kabul, where Dr. Kull- 
man had three rhesus macaques in captivity, not unlike the specimen 
we purchased. 

I saw other live monkeys, all captives performing for monkey 
trainers, three in Kabul, one in Jalalabad, and three in Kandahar. 
When questioned, the trainers without exception said the monkeys 
came from either Nuristan or Paktia. 

Kullman (1965, p. 16) mentions that a long-tailed monkey was 
described to him in Mangall, Paktia. He speculates that it might be 
the langur, Presbytia entellus, which is distributed over India and 
Kashmir. Pocock (1939, p. 51) also speculates on a description (by 
Raverty, 1859, p. 332) of a large monkey found in the densely 
wooded district of warmer Kafiristan, concluding it might possibly 
be the langur. 


Ochotona macrotis Gunther Large-eared Pika 

Lagomys macrotis Gunther, 1875, Ann, Mag. Nat. Hist., 16, p. 231 (Sep- 


Type locality. — Doba, Kuenlum Mountains, extreme southern 
Chinese Turkestan. 

Distribution. — 

General: The Tianshan and Pamir mountains in Russia, and 
the mountains of southern Sinkiang, China, south to northern 
Nepal, Kashmir, and Nuristan. 

Afghanistan Records: Popov (1962, pp. 107-109). 
Third Danish Expedition, 1948-1949 (Stiewe, Nuristan), 
Niethammer (1966, in litt., Wakhan Region). 

According to Povolny and Daniel (1966, pp. 371, 373) the 
valley of Chap Darrah (3,700 m.) in the Wakhan Region: 
"... was frequently visited by pikas (Ochotona rufescens Gray) 
leaving there numerous traces of their activities." Subse- 
quently, and without explanation, they introduce a second 
species (0. roylei) from the Wakhan Region (the valley of 
Ishmurkh Darrah, 4,000 m.). This listing is immediately fol- 
lowed by a reference to: ". . . 11 pikas, which were trapped in 
the valley of Chap Darrah ..." These locality records would 
(for both roylei and rufescens) represent range extensions into 
the known range of 0. macrotis. It is possible that the Wakhan 
Region is a meeting ground for roylei from the southeast and 
macrotis from the north and northeast but collection of 11 
rufescens ranging in from the south and west seems unlikely 
(see Ochotona distribution map). Since those authors present 
no evidence to support their identifications (and because they 
were less concerned with pikas for themselves as potential 
hosts of parasitic Diptera), their collections alleged to be roylei 
and rufescens are herein regarded as probably macrotis, but not 
included on the distribution map for Ochotona. 

Afghanistan Habitat: Montane biotopes between 2,000 and 
4,000 m. According to Scully (1881, p. 207), this species 
frequents open stony ground near the snowline. 

Discussion. — 

On the average the three 0. macrotis from Stiewe (collected April 
20, 1948) appear to be smaller than adult 0. rufescens, but with 
larger ears and different pelage. Ellerman and Morrison-Scott (1951, 
p. 448) distinguish macrotis as having larger ears (rarely less than 27 
mm.) than rufescens (rarely reaching 27 mm. in length). The overall 
tone of the dorsum of the feet of macrotis is Pale Cinnamon Pink, 

Head and 












Table 4. — Body measurements of Ochotona from Afghanistan, 
(Measurements in mm.) 

Species Record Sample 

O. macrotis 3rd Danish Exp. 3 

O. rufescens Niethammer (1965)* 10 

O.rufescens 1965 Street Exp.^ 16 

' Measurements recorded in the field; the remaining figures for this record are 

of dried skins. 
* Extremes only. 
» All adults. 

and the length and breadth of the ears of three dried specimens aver- 
ages 26 by 26 mm., in contrast with Pinkish to Cinnamon-Buff feet 
and 18 by 18 mm. ears of ten dried, adult specimens of 0. rufescens. 

A male and two females collected (June 20, 1948) in the valley 
between Stiewe and Weran Pass (3,350 m.) represent the south- 
western-most record of this species. One of these females had five 
embryos; the other was lactating. Paludan (Third Danish Expedi- 
tion field notes) lists sightings of pikas in the Weran Valley (3,720 m.) 
and between Tilli (2,675 m.) and Nau. He notes: "They stopped at 
about 3,900 m., perhaps 4,000 m. They are as a rule found where 
the boulders are adjacent to small, grassy areas." 

Popov (1962) reports this species from the mountains of Badakh- 
shan. Niethammer's collection of macrotis in the Wakhan is not 
unexpected, as they are found immediately to the north (see Bobrin- 
ski et. al., 1965) and south. 

Ochotona rufescens has not been collected east of 69°30'E longi- 
tude; in contrast, 0. macrotis has not been found west of Nuristan or 
Badakhshan. The ranges of these species probably meet in the 
vicinity of west Nuristan. If their ranges overlap, macrotis will most 
likely be found at higher elevations. 

Ochotona rufescens rufescens Gray Afghan Pika 

Lagomys rufescens Gray, 1842, Ann. Mag, Nat. Hist., 10, p, 266. 

Type locality. — Near Babers Tomb, Kabul, Afghanistan, 

Distribution. — 

General: From the Kopet-Dag Mountains in Iran through 
south-western Russian Turkestan to Afghanistan and Baluchis- 



Afghanistan Records: Gray (1842, p. 266), Hutton (1846, p. 
140), Griffith (1847, p. xx), Scully (1887, p. 75), Zimmerman 
(1955, p. 190), Akhtar (1944, p. 82; 1957, pp. 455, 456), 
Niethammer (1965, p. 23), Gaisler et al. (1968, p. 186). 

1965 Street Expedition: FMNH 102840-102883; in alcohol 
102856, -59, -60, -61; skull only 102876,-77, -80; nestlings 

1939 Chaworth-Musters Expedition (Shibar Pass; B. M. 
47.400-47.466, 62.775, 62.776), Third Danish Expedition. 
1948-1949 Central Asia (Bamian). 

Afghanistan Habitat: The rock and structure biotopes be- 
tween 1,000 and 3,200 m. is the favorite haunt of this pika. 
Free water or at least vegetation with a high density seems to 
facilitate its occurrence. Pikas are numerous along the roads 
east and west of Shibar Pass, and north and south of Sauzak 
Pass. I counted 60 during the late afternoon of August 25 in 
less than 12 km. along a road stretching west from the summit 
of Shibar Pass. 

Taxonomic Notes and Discussioii .-- 

The 30 specimens (FMNH 102840—869) collected near Pagh- 
man are virtual topotypes of Ochotona rufescens rufescens Gray, be- 
ing collected less than 40 km. from the type locality. Six (FMNH 
102842, 102849, 102851, 102857, 102858, 102866) are considered to 
be adults, A specimen is here termed adult if the greatest length of 
the skull minus the least distance across the top of the skull between 
the orbits is more than 40.0 mm. Subadults have a shorter skull 
length and a wider interorbital width than adults. Data from 55 
Ochotona rujescens skulls indicate that at no time during the life of 
this pika is the interorbital width greater than during the first month 
after birth. As the skull elongates and widens the frontals constrict. 
For example, a nestling pika with its eyes closed had a skull length 
of 24.2 mm. and an interorbital width of 5.0 mm., while an adult with 
a skull length of 45.8 mm. had an interorbital width of 3.0 mm. 

This definition of adulthood represents a morphological maturity, 
made for taxonomic purposes, and does not take sexual maturity into 
consideration; one growing female considered subadult by the above 
criterion had six embryos. 

The dorsal pelage of four adults captured near Paghman in July 
appears darker and the individual hairs are shorter, 10-15 mm., when 


compared with the longer hair, 20-25 mm., and the black-tipped, 
Cinnamon to Sayal Brown dorsal-pelage of four adults collected in 
late September from Sauzak Pass. 

Field Notes and Discussion. — 

Hunting proved to be the most effective method of collecting 
pikas. They were not attracted to our stock bait. Traps placed at 
fresh burrows failed to yield pikas. Twenty-eight specimens were 
shot. More than 75 per cent of them were living in the crevices of 
rocks supporting terraces or mountain-side irrigation ditches. At 
Paghman we purchased two adults, seven subadults and five nestlings 
between July 12 and 18; of these specimens one subadult female was 
lactating, a second contained six embryos. Small boys had no 
trouble catching pikas. 

Pikas living near wheat fields store the stalks of this grain in 
rocky crevices; those without this source of food store grasses and 
weeds in relation to availability. Pikas subsist on these food-stores 
during the winter; they are not known to hibernate. Niethammer 
(1965) mentions that excavated burrows had one or two exits and 
ended after about 2 m. at a depth of half a meter. In winter near 
Paghman he also observed that they had dug tunnels up through the 
snow and were sunning themselves at noon. 

Lepus capensis Linnaeus Cape Hare 

Lepus capensis Linnaeus, 1758, Syst. Nat., 10th ed., I, p. 58. 
Type locality. — Cape of Good Hope. 
Subspecies recorded for Afghanistan : 

Lepus tibetanus (= Lepus capensis tibetanus) Waterhouse, 1841, Proc. Zool. 

Soc, London, 7. 
Lepus hhmanni (=Lepus capensis lehmani) Severtzov, 1873, Mem. Soc. Amis. 

Sci., Moscou, 8, 2, pp. 62, 83. 

Distribution. — 

General: Widely distributed over Africa and Eurasia from the 
Cape of Good Hope north to Spain, east through Arabia and 
Iran to Kashmir; and through parts of the dry belt of Central 
Asia from Russian Turkestan east through China to approxi- 
mately 120°E longitude. This species is therefore widely 
distributed in both the Palearctic and Ethiopian Faunal 
Regions and marginally in the Oriental Region. 

Afghanistan Records: Irwin (1839, p. 1,007), Hutton (1845, 
p. 141), Griffith (1847, XX, pp. 366, 370), Scully (1887, p. 76), 









Aitchison (1889, p. 61), Niethammer (1965, p. 22), Gaisler et 
al. (1968, p. 187). 

1965 Street Expedition: FMNH 102884 to 102895. 

Third Danish Expedition, 1948-1949 (Baqrabad and Faizabad 
in South Afgh. and Sauzak Kotal). 

Afghanistan Habitat: Found between 500 and 3,000 m. 
throughout Afghanistan excluding alpine habitat and the 
forests of Monsoonal Afghanistan. We collected or saw hares 
in the clay and loess, slope and plateau, and rock biotopes. 
Hares were characteristically found in terrain with vegetation 
having a medium or high density, low shade, one stratum, 
medium to high homogeneity, and a clumped distribution, 

Taxonomic Notes and Discussion. — 

An examination of the obliquely truncated apex of the large 
maxillary incisor tooth of specimens collected near Jalalabad revealed 
a bell-shaped or slightly bifurcated pattern of enamel infolding. 
This comparatively complicated groove is filled naturally with soft 
cement. Skulls of other Afghan hares had a simple, shallow groove 
with no cement filling. 

The skull length, from the most posterior point on the occiput to 
the anterior-most surface of the upper incisors ranges and averages: 
for three specimens from Jalalabad, 89.0-92.2 (91.1); for seven 
specimens from Wakhan, 85.2-90.5 (88.5) ; and one from Kandahar 
82,4, The greatest distance between the outsides of the zygomata 
opposite the molar tooth row ranges from 40,1-42.5 for the Jalalabad 
hares, but only from 35,5-38.0 (36.8) for seven Wakhan skulls, and 
34.3 for the Kandahar specimen. 

Table 5. — Body measurements of L. capensis from Afghanistan. 
(Measurements in mm.) 

Record Sample Head and body Tail Hind foot Ear^ 

Scully (1887) 1 — — — 109 

1965 Street 3 470-540(502) 75-105(87) 115-128(120) 122-130(127) 

Exp., Jalala- 


1965 Street 9 
Exp., Wakhan 
and Kanda- 

408-487(448) 55-97(84) 117-133(128) 98-120(107) 

' From the notch of orifice to the tip of the ear in this genus. 

2 Specimens FMNH 102892, -93 and -94. 

■' Specimens FMNH 102884 to 102891 and 102895. 


If we follow Fetter's (1961, p. 30) classification of the European 
and Asiatic hares of the sub-genus Lepus, which is based solely on the 
structure of the groove on the anterior surface of the first upper 
incisor, hares with a complex gi'oove are assigned to the Indian species 
L. nigricollis, those with a simple groove to six other species of 
which L. capensis has the largest range. Lay (1967, pp. 153, 154) 
reports valid objections to uncritical use of this character, notably 
that Fetter bases his revision on too small a sample which fails to 
account for age or geographic variation within the key character, and 
that Hall (1951, pp. 181-182) presents evidence that within a single 
species of this holarctic subgenus Lepus (Lepus) the groove may be 
simple or complex dependent upon whether the specimen came from 
east or west of a particular range of mountains. 

I have examined the incisive grooves of 89 Eurasian hares in 
Field Museum of Natural History, dividing them into: 1) simple 
grooves with no cement filling or single cement-filled invaginations 
similar to the one illustrated by Fetter (1961, p. 34) for L. nigricollis 
dayanus; and 2) complex grooves, usually bi- or trifurcated, more 
complex than the one illustrated by Fetter for L. nigricollis dayanus. 
Simple gi'ooves were found in each of the 32 skulls from the Falearctic 
Region (Iran, Iraq, Manchuria, Mongolia). Of 48 hares collected 
near or in the Himalayan portion of the transition between the Pale- 
arctic and Oriental Region (south China, north India, Kashmir, and 
Afghanistan), 18 have simple grooves, 19 have a single invagination, 
and 11 have complex grooves. One hare from the Oriental Region 
(Indochinese Feninsula) had a single invagination, eight had complex 

Fetter (1961) classified Lepus oiostolus and L. ruficaudatus as 
having a simple gi'oove. In seven of ten L. oiostolus from Szechwan 
Province in western China, I do find a single invagination, but the 
other three have complex grooves. Complex grooves were also 
found in each of the sample of four L. ruficaudatus from north India 
(Assam), supporting Tate (1947, p. 202) who distinguished this 
species as having complex grooves. Fetter acknowledges Tate's con- 
tradictory observations with a footnote but, from an examination of 
the type specimen, proceeds to include L. ruficaudatus with hares 
having simple gi'ooves. It is probably noteworthy that the ranges of 
both L. oiostolus and L. ruficaudatus extend into the transition be- 
tween faunal i-egions, and that Fetter considers ruficaudatus to be 
related to Lepus capensis. 


The foregoing evidence indicating that the probability of finding 
all complex or all simple grooves in any single taxon (species or sub- 
species) of hare (near the Himalayas) may be greater in either 
faunal region than in the transition zone between these regions, 
suggests that at least in the area considered the complexity of the 
groove on the first maxillary incisor is a geographic character having 
subspecific rather than specific significance. 

Ellerman and Morrison-Scott (1951, pp. 421, 422) tentatively 
retain L. nigricollis as a species albeit: "... they have all the essential 
characters of [the europaeus] group including very large size of skull." 
Ellerman speculates that nigricollis might represent an eastward 
extension of europaeus {= capensis) : "However, the Southern Indian 
nigricollis with its Ceylon representative is remarkable for its black- 
streaked neck, and the remaining forms, which would be races of 
ruficaudatus if further specific division were required, have the upper 
part of the tail normally brown and white rather than black and 

Our Jalalabad series have incisive grooves and size and shape of 
skull like those of Field Museum series of L. nigricollis ruficaudatus 
from Sikkim and Assam, but their pelage resembles that of capensis 
in having Light Buff instead of Ocraceous Buff neck (as in the 
Sikkim one) and upper part of the tail blackish and white instead of 
brown and white. But the Jalalabad series is intermediate between 
the Afghan L. capensis and the L. nigricollis ruficaudatus in having 
darker, warmer dorsal body pelage than the former. Finally, the 
dorsal pelage of the feet and legs of the Wakhan series is almost white 
(Pale Pinkish Buff) whereas that of the Jalalabad series is Cream 
Buff or Chamois which seems much closer to the Ochraceous Tawny 
of the Sikkim one. 

Thus, based on the evidence of intergradation provided in this 
paper and by Lay and on the contradictions associated respectively 
with Ellerman and Morrison Scott's (1951) and Fetter's revisions of 
the subgenus Lepus, all hares examined from Afghanistan are con- 
sidered to be Lepus capensis.^ Further it is suggested that ruficauda- 
tus is an Indian subspecies of L. capensis. 

Field Notes and Discussion. — 

Specimens were usually collected at night using a spotlight and 
shotgun, although one hare was shot in the early morning. They 

1 A young hare from Bisut, near Jalalabad, is reported as (sic) Lepus"! dayanus, 
by Gaisler et al. (1968, p. 187; on the authority of Angermann, in litt.). 


seemed most numerous in the Wakhan (sparsely populated by man) 
usually seen on small, gently sloping, alluvial plateaus between the 
steep mountains and the Amu Darya. We observed these hares to 
take refuge among rocks and boulders during the day. 

Hares are hunted by the Afghans. Niethammer (1965) mentions: 
"L. capensis has become so rare because of too much hunting, that it 
is still not represented in the collection of the Institute of Zoology." 


Spermophilopsis leptodactylus Lichtenstein 

Long-clawed Ground Squirrel 

Arctomj/s /cptodacij/Zws Lichtenstein, 1823, Evermann. Reise, 119. 

Type locality. — Karata, 140 versts northwest of Bokhara, Rus- 
sian Turkestan. 

Distribution. — 

General: Russian Turkestan, from the east side of the Caspian 
Sea northeast to steppes south and east of Lake Balkash ; and 
south to Afghanistan and northern Iran. 

Afghanistan Records: Scully (1887, pp. 70-71), Niethammer, 
(1965, pp. 23-24) in alcohol 102906, -07; skull only 102915. 

1965 Street Expedition: FMNH 102896-915. 

Third Danish Expedition, 1948-1949 (Maimana and near 

Afghanistan Habitat: Collected below 1,000 m. in the clay- 
and loess biotope in North and Northwest Afghanistan. The 
prevalent vegetation of its usual habitat was characterized by: 
medium density, low shade, one stratum, a clumped distribu- 
tion, and high homogeniety. 

Discussion. — 

Two species of this genus have been described from near the 
Afghan-Russian border, and subsequently have been reduced to sub- 
species. Scully (1887, p. 70) described S. I. bactrianus from Kamiab 
in North Afghanistan. Satunin (1908, p. 255) described a larger 
foiTTi, schumakovi, from Kushka Turkmeniya S.S.R. (see fig. 8). The 
adult Afghan specimens studied by me all fit the description of S. I. 
bactrianus, none having the length of the head and body as long as 
290 mm., the figure given by Satunin (1908, p. 257) for the smallest 
of six adult S. I. schumakovi. 



This steppe-dwelling rodent was quite active near 10:00 A.M. and 
4:00 P.M. in August and September. Roadside hunting, using shot- 
guns, during periods of its peak activity was our most successful 
method of collecting these squirrels. They were frequently caught 
foraging more than 50 m. from the nearest burrow. 

Marmota caudata Jacquemont Long-tailed Marmot 

Ardomys caudatus Jacquemont, 1844, Voy. dans L'Inde, 4, Zool. 66. 
Type locality. — Kashmir. 
Distribution. — 

General: From the Hindu Kush in Afghanistan through 
southeast Russian Turkestan and Kashmir eastward to 
Sinkiang, China. 

Afghanistan Records: Griffith (1847, pp. 388. 483), Anderson 
(1875, p. 283), Furse (1963, p. 22), Niethammer (1965, p. 24), 
Povolny and Daniel (1966, p. 371). 

1965 Street Expedition: FMNH 102916, a patch of dorsal fur. 

Third Danish Expedition, 1948-1949 (Pashki, Puistagoli). 
In addition to obtaining specimens as cited above, Paludan 
(Third Danish Expedition field notes) observed marmots at 
Pashki, 2,700-3,600 m.; Stiewe; near Sanglich, 3,500 m. ; Weran 
Pass. 3,460 m.; and Shibar Pass, 2,440 m., between May 18 
and July 25 in 1948 and 1949. He notes the absence of 
marmots on a subsequent return to the Shibar Pass in October, 
albeit: "there were many dens and we had encountered them 

Afghanistan Habitat: Above 2,500 m. in sub-alpine biotopes. 
Niethammer (1965, pp. 25, 26) reports: ". . . it occurs in the 
Hindu Kush above 2,800 m. and probably also in the Pamirs, 
where it is numerous on the Russian side. The most southei'n 
record is in the Dasht-i-Newar, where its extensive burrows 
were found, especially on the borders of wet plains which have 
a rich vegetation in summer." Paludan (supra cit) saw red- 
dish-brown marmots southwest of Zebak (near Sanglich, 3,500 
m.) on an "artemisia steppe." He also notes seeing and hearing 
marmots near Pashki in: "juniper-habitat above the forest." 
Povolny and Daniel (1966) collected marmots on an "Alpine 
artemisia-steppe" in the valley of Chap Darrah, 3,700 m. 


Discussion. — 

Povolny and Daniel (1966) collected marmots on Aug. 15 and 18, 
1965, in the Wakhan Region. On Aug. 17 and 18, 1965, the Street 
Expedition was also collecting in the Wakhan Region, approximately 
800 m. lower than Povolny and Daniel, but encountered no marmots. 
Subsequently, our expedition never entered good marmot habitat 
until close to or after the onset of hibernation, and then only briefly. 
Consequently, our only record consists of a patch of fur said to have 
come from a marmot collected on the Anjumin Pass. 

Spermophilus fulvus Lichtenstein Fulvous Ground Squirrel 

Arctomys fulvus Lichtenstein, 1823, Evermann Reise, 119. 
Type locality. — ^U.S.S.R., Kirghizia, River Kuwandzaliur, east of 

the Mugadsharz Mountains, north of the Sea of Aral. 

Distribution. — 

General: South Russia to Chinese Turkestan with the south- 
ern limits of its distribution in north Iran and Afghanistan. 

Afghanistan Records: Niethammer (1965, p. 24). 
Third Danish Expedition, 1948-1949 (Ab-i-Istada). 

Afghanistan Habitat: Niethammer (1965, pp. 24, 25) states: 
"It is sporadically distributed in more sandy steppes between 
1,000 and 3,000 m. altitude. . . ." 

Discussion. — 

At the time of our visit to localities where this species has been 
collected or is thought to occur, the animals had already entered 
aestivation or hibernation. Kashkarov and Lein (1927, p. 65) give 
the time of activity for this species as February to June. Their obser- 
vations were made in Russian Turkestan, north of Afghanistan. 

Because few burrows large enough to house this squirrel were 
seen, this species is probably rare or absent beyond areas from which 
they were collected in South and East Afghanistan. Although too 
few collecting excursions have been made to Spermophilus habitat — 
during their short burst of activity — to ascertain their range in 
Afghanistan, they appear to have a sporadic distribution with, per- 
haps, two disjunct populations. Lay (1967, p. 157) indicates a dis- 
junct distribution for this species in Iran. This sporadic and pos- 
sibly insular distribution along the southern limit of this species range 
probably reflects more favorable ecological conditions and a wider 
distribution in the past. 


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Hylopetes fimbriatus Gray Smaller Kashmir Flying Squirrel 

Sciuropterus fimbriatus Gray, 1837, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., I, p. 584. 

Type locality. — Northwest India, Punjab, Simla. 

The following species previously recorded from Afghanistan is 
considered (fide EUerman and Morrison-Scott, 1951) to be a sub- 
species of H. fimbriatus. 

Sciuropterus baberi Blyth, 1847, Jour, Asiat. Soc. Bengal, 16, p. 866. 

Type locality. — Afghanistan: Nijrow in Kohistan. 

Distribution. — 

General: Northwest India, Kashmir, north West Pakistan, 
and Monsoonal Afghanistan. 

Afghanistan Records: Babur in the sixteenth century A.D. 
(Memoirs translated and published in 1921, p. 233), Blyth 
(1847, p. 866), Horsfield (1851, p. 163), Blanford (1888-1891, 
p. 367), Niethammer (1967). 
Third Danish Expedition, 1948-1949 (Stiewe, Nuristan). 

Afghanistan Habitat: Locally abundant between 1,600 and 
3,500 m. in the evergreen oak and conifer biotopes of Mon- 
soonal Afghanistan and Nuristan. 

Discussion. — 

Babur (1921, p. 233) saw ". . . an animal larger than a squirrel, 
with a kind of leathern web stretching between its fore and hind feet 
like a bat's wing," in the mountain districts of Nijrow. He called 
it the flying-fox. Blyth (1847, p. 866) describes the type for H. f. 
baberi from this same general locality as follows: "A species seemingly 
allied to Sc. fimbriatus, but one-fourth larger, was figured by Sir A. 
Burnes as Moosh i baldar of the mountain districts of Nijrow, and 
identified by him as the "Flying Fox" of the translation of Babur's 
(1921, p. 145) memoirs. A length of two feet is assigned to it whereas 
I doubt (from examination of several specimens) if Sc. fimbriatus 
would ever exceed 19 in. at the most. The color of the upper-parts 
is represented as pale fulvescent ashy-brown, darker on the limbs; 
tail broad and bushy, and tipped with blackish; underparts dull 
white, with a ferruginous margin to the membrane underneath." 

Fig. 9. Records and estimated limits of distribution for Spermophilus fulvus 
(S'), Hylopetes fimbriatus (PH and H), and Petaurista petaurista (PH). Circle with 
dot circumscribes the locality wherein Niethammer (1967) collected seven Hylo- 
petes and one Petaurista, and denotes the only Afghanistan record for Petaurista. 
The distribution for Spermophilus may be disjunct. 



Blanford (1888-1891, p. 367), discussing the distribution of this 
species notes: "Also found in Afghanistan, a specimen having been 
brought from Peiwar Kotal." 

The Third Danish Expedition bought a skin in Stiewe, Nuristan, 
This skin is in rather bad condition, however, its pelage is similar in 
virtually every respect to the pelage of two fimhriatus (FMNH 43504 
and 91262) from Kashmir. Stiewe is a village in the Pech River 

Niethammer (1967) confirmed the existence of flying squirrels in 
the Pech valley. He collected seven H. /. haheri between Aug. 26 
and 29 from the transition zone between the evergreen oak and 
conifer biotopes, near 2,000 m. Sensa- Nuristan. These specimens are 
virtual topotypes of this subspecies. 

According to Niethammer (1967) : "We located these squirrels by 
the accumulation of acorns under the trees in the day time while at 
night we flashed the light as soon as we heard them gnawing and were 
able to see them without any difficulty as their eyes shine in the 
dark." He notes most of the oak trees were hollow or with many 
holes. The Street Expedition found no evidence of the presence of 
any squirrels living in the oak biotope along the Bashgul River (1,300 
2,150 m.), about 75 km. northeast of Sensa-Nuristan. The Bashgul 
River, like the Pech, is a tributary of the Kunar River, which flows 
into the Indus River via the Kabul River. I examined many oak 
trees on mountains along the Bashgul River; tree holes were scarce 
and most of the trees were not hollow. 

Petaurista petaurista Pallas Common Giant Flying Squirrel 

Sciurus petaurista Pallas, 1766, Misc. Zool., p. 54. 
Type locality. — Western Java. 

Distrihution. — 

General: Indian Faunal Region and Monsoonal Afghanistan. 

Afghanistan Records: Niethammer (1967). 

Afghanistan Habitat: Niethammer collected a single speci- 
men from the ecotone between the evergreen oak and conifer 
biotopes, near 2,000 m. elevation, and collected seven Hylo- 
petes fimhriatus in the same general locality; i.e., "in Sensa- 
Nuristan, East Afghanistan." 


Discussion. — 

Niethammer collected the first and only specimen of this species 
in Afghanistan. He identified the specimen as belonging to the sub- 
species Petaurista petaurista albiventer Gray, 1834, Illustr. Ind. Zool 
pi. xviii. Type skull in B.M., labelled Nepal. This record represents 
the westernmost collection of this species. Dr. Niethammer notes 
that Hylopetes and Petaurista live together not only in Afghanistan, 
but also in Kashmir, where they are equally abundant and show no 
niche differentiation. 

Calomyscus bailwardi Thomas Long-tailed Hamster 

Calomyscus bailwardi Thomas, 1905, Abstr. Proc. Zool. Soc, London, 23, 
pp. 524-526. 

Type locality. — Iran, Khusistan, Province, Mala-i-Mir. 
Distribution. — 

General: This species is known from the Iranian Plateau, 
southern Transcaucasia, and South Russian Turkestan. 

Afghanistan Records: EUerman (1948, p. 118), Zimmerman 
(1955, p. 191), Niethammer (1965, p. 32), Gaisler et al, (1967, 
pp. 359, 361). 

1965 Street Expedition: FMNH 102917-103003; in alcohol 
102943, -49, -58, -63, -66-69, -79, -91 93, -97, -99; skull only 
102932, -33; skin only 192949. 

Third Danish Expedition, 1948-1949 (Wama). 

Afghanistan Habitat: Widely distributed between 400 and 
3,500 m. in the rock biotope. There is no obvious correlation 
between the kind or amount of vegetation and the distribution 
of this cricetine. It was as abundant under the evergreen oaks 
of Monsoonal Afghanistan as it was in the barren, scorched 
hills north of Kandahar. All of the 87 specimens collected by 
the Street Expedition were taken from rocky terrain. It was 
conspicuously absent from its typical habitat where we trapped 
in Badakshan and the Wakhan. 

Discussion. — 

Measurements of the type for C. bailwardi mustersi Ellerman, 
1948, Proc. Zool. Soc, London, 118, 3, p. 804, collected at Paghman, 
Afghanistan are: HE, 86; T, 88; HF, 20; and E, 18. 

The tone of the dorsal pelage of adult and juvenile C. b. mustersi 
is respectively grizzled Drab and Pale Smoke Gray. Dorsally, the 



Table 7. — Body measurements of Cricetinae from Afghanistan. 
(Measurements in mm.) 

Head and 





























1965 Street 





























1965 Street 











' Measurements are of 27 topotypical C. b. musiersi and 60 specimens from 
other Afghan localities. 

progression of molt from juvenile to adult pelage is from the head to 
the base of the tail, and simultaneously, from the flanks to the mid- 
dorsal region. 

When compared with the grizzled Drab dorsal pelage of specimens 
from Central Afghanistan, adults from North and Monsoonal 
Afghanistan have respectively lighter and darker pelage. 

Each of two females, taken July 16 and 17, had three embryos. 

A well-drained slope covered with boulders was the favorite 
habitat of Calomyscus, however, 300 trapnights in typical habitat 
(Aug. 12-18, 1965) failed to yield any Calomyscus in Badakshan and 
the Wakhan. 

Seed husks mixed with mouse-like droppings, usually under a 
ledge of rock, often betrayed the presence of Calomyscus. A close 
examination of these husks revealed they were from different species 
of herbs or grasses. In Monsoonal Afghanistan a trap baited with 
an acorn and set under a ledge amidst a small pile of empty acorn 
shells and mouse droppings did yield a Calomyscus, and because I 
trapped no other rodent in that vicinity which was the size of Ca/o- 
myscus, it seemed evident to me that the acorns were used for food by 
this species. 

Cricetulus migratorius Pallas Gray Hamster 

Mus migratoriiis Pallas, 1773, Reise, 2, p. 703. 

Type locality. — Western Siberia in the Lower Ural River Valley. 



Cricetus (Cricetulus) fulvus reported for Afghanistan in Wakhan 
by Blanford (1875, p. 108), and as Cricetus phaeus by Sclater (1891, 
p. 85) is considered a subspecies of Cricetulus migratorius by Eller- 
man and Morrison-Scott (1951, p. 622). 

Distribution. — 

General: Greece and southern Russia from the Ukraine 
through Russian Turkestan southeast to Kashmir and Balu- 
chistan, north and east to Chinese Sinkiang and southwestern 

Afghanistan Records: Blanford (1875, p. 108), Aitchison 
(1889, p. 59), Ellerman (1948, p. 806), Niethammer (1965, p. 
32), Gaisler et al. (1967, p. 361). 

1965 Street Expedition: FMNH 103004—33, -35, -59, -61-64; 
in alcohol 103012, -14, -15, -30, -33, -35, -40; skull only 103004. 
Third Danish Expedition, 1948-1949, (Bamian). 

Afghanistan Habitat: This species occurred between 400 and 
3,600 m. in the rock, slope-and-plateau, and structure biotopes, 
and was frequently found in sites almost devoid of vegetation. 
Few were taken in humid habitat. 

Niethammer (1965) mentions that C. migratorius were col- 
lected in the coniferous forest at Peiwar Pass, and the present 
expedition collected six specimens from a juniper woodland on 
Sauzak Pass. However, we obtained none in South or Mon- 
soonal Afghanistan or in the Jalalabad Vale. 

Discussion. — 

A pregnant female containing six embryos, and two lactating 
females were trapped on August 15 and 16. 

Cheek-pouches usually contained seeds. One specimen weighing 
28 gm. had 4.5 gm. of legume leaves, seeds, and seedpods in its 

We found this species to be easily obtained by placing traps at 
holes in the dry, earthen embankments of fallow terraces or near 
cracks and crevices in the hard-clay foundations of abandoned 
buildings. In the Wakhan region it was abundant in the rock 

Alticola roylei Gray Royle's High Mountain Vole 

Arvicola roylei Gray, 1842, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., 10, p. 265. 
Type locality. — India, Kumaon. 



Distribution. — 

General: Tianshan, Pamir, and Hissar Mountains in southern 
and eastern Russian Turkestan, east to Mongolia and south 
to northwestern India, W. Pakistan, and Afghanistan. 

Afghanistan Records: Ellerman (1948, p. 782), Zimmerman 
(1955, p. 191), Niethammer (1965, p. 35; 1970, p. 14). 

1965 Street Expedition: FMNH 103065-78; in alcohol 
103077, -78; skull only 103074. 

Afghanistan Habitat: This montane species occurs between 
2,000 and 4,300 m. in the watercourse and rock biotopes. 
Characteristic vegetation: high density, medium to high shade, 
one to three strata, irregular distribution and low homogeneity. 

Discussion. — 

Twenty traps placed among the rocks and thick vegetation bor- 
dering a swift stream in the Wakhan yielded four specimens within 4 
sq. m. I was unable to find five of the 20 traps. Presumably they 
were sprung by voles and in turn stolen by a predator or dragged 
under the rocks by the vole. A sixth trap containing a large vole was 
dragged a meter before it wedged between rocks. This vole was 
caught by the hind quarters and was still alive. Traps set for this 
species should be anchored to a rock or vegetation with wire or cord. 

The banana-shaped fecal pellets of this species literally covered 
the earth under certain large rocks. For 50 m. along this stream, I 
noted feces under every rock and on top of many low, flat rocks. 

Microtus (Blanfordimys) afghanus Thomas Afghan Vole 

Miarotus {Phaiomys) afghanus Thomas, 1912, Ann, Mag. Nat. Hist., 9, p. 349. 

Type locality.— Gulran, 35.06 N, 61.41 E, Afghanistan. 

Golunda meltada Gray (in Horsfield, 1851, p. 144). 

Arricola mandarinus Milne-Edwards (Blanford, 1881, p. 108; Aitchison, 1889, 
p. 59). 

Distribution. — 

General: The Transcaspian and Kara Kum basins below 40°N 
latitude from the Caspian Sea east through southern Turk- 
meniya and Uzbekistan to southwestern Tadjikistan. South 
through the mountains in Central and East Afghanistan. 

Afghanistan Records: Horsfield (1851, p. 144), Aitchison 
(1889, p. 59), Ellerman (1948, p. 783), Niethammer (1965, p. 
36; 1970, p. 2). 



1965 Street Expedition: FMNH 103079-125; in alcohol 
103092, -113, -122, -123; skull only 103097, -112. 

Afghanistan Habitat: Common in the clay-and-loess, struc- 
ture, and watercourse biotopes below 3,400 m. Characteristic 
vegetation: high density, low to high shade, one or two strata, 
irregular distribution, low to high homogeneity. It has not 
been collected in North and South Afghanistan or beyond 25 
km. east of a line running through Ghazni and Kabul. 

Taxonomic Notes and Discussion. — 

A vole collected by Griffith and reported as Golunda meltada 
Gray by Horsfield (1851, p. 144) was reidentified as Arvicola man- 
darinus Milne-Edwards by Blanford (1881, p. 101), whose deter- 
mination was followed by Thomas (in Aitchison 1889, p. 59) in his 
identification of two additional specimens collected by Aitchison in 
1885. Subsequently, Thomas (1912, p. 349) reconsiders, saying: 
"Renewed examination of the specimens with modern knowledge and 
materials shows that the species belongs to quite a different group 
from M. mandarinus and clearly needs description as new." Hence, 
Thomas described Microtus afghanus. 

Ellerman (1941, p. 226), who examined two skulls and the litera- 
ture, considers Microtus afghanus to be Blanfordimys afghanus. 
Blanfordimys was originally described as a subgenus of Microtus by 
Argiropulo (1933, p. 182). Ognev (1950, p. 306), examining 41 pelts 
and skulls, retains Blanfordimys as a subgenus. I have followed 
Ognev's classification for the microtine fauna of Afghanistan. 

Field Notes and Discussion. — 

At least 31 of the 46 M. afghanus collected were trapped in the 
proximity of the structure biotope, particularly along the edges of 
fallow terraces. The results of our trapping supports Niethammer's 
(1965, p. 36) observation for Afghanistan: "In higher altitudes it 
lives in stony areas and also penetrates into drier biotopes than 
Alticola and Microtus arvalis." 

On Sauzak Pass at 2,400 m. the author saw more than 100 
Microtus-Mke burrows in approximately 25 sq. m. These burrows 
emerged around the edges of dense hemispherical crowns of traga- 
canthoid vegetation. Seventy trap-nights yielded a number of 
migratory hamsters and a single Microtus. On the Shibar Pass at 
about 2,500 m. two Microtus were dug out of a small nest about 300 
mm. deep. The burrow system consisted of a single tunnel, 100-300 

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mm. deep, with a series of lateral passages and exits. This subter- 
ranean passage ran parallel to the edge of a fallow wheat field. 

A female trapped on July 25 contained four embryos. Twenty 
subadults were trapped in July, but none thereafter, although 
adults were trapped in August, Septembei*, and October. 

Microtus arvalis Pallas Common Vole 

Mus arvalis Pallas, 1779, Nov. Spec. Quad. Glir. Ord., p. 78. 

Type locality. — Germany. 

The following species previously recorded from Afghanistan is 
considered to be a subspecies of Microtus arvalis. 

Microtus transcaspicus Satunin, 1905, Verz. Saug. Transkaspiens (Russ), 25, 
p. 30. Tschuli Gorge, near Ashabad, Transcaspia. 

Distribution. — 

General: Temperate zone of Europe and Asia reaching its 
southern limit of distribution in Afghanistan. 

Afghanistan Records: Ellerman (1948, p. 789), Niethammer 
(1965, p. 36; 1970, p. 11). 

1965 Street Expedition, FMNH 103126-150; in alcohol 
103140, -46. 

Afghanistan Habitat: Found on mountains in the water- 
course and clay-and-loess biotopes. The Street Expedition 
collected 25 specimens in approximately 25 sq. m. of a seepage 
on Shibar Pass shown in Hassinger (1968, fig. 13). They were 
not taken beyond the lush grass of this biotope, but Microtus 
afghanus were collected in the drier perimeter of this seepage, 
less than 8 m. beyond the center of M. arvalis activity as 
indicated by runways and trapping success. Niethammer 
(1965) states: "In contrast to Central Europe they [arvalis] 
occur in Afghanistan only sporadically in relatively humid 
localities and rarely on cultivated land." He gives their ver- 
tical distribution as 2,500-3,000 m. 

Discussion. — 

Ellerman (1948, p. 789) provisionally identified three large voles 
collected by Chaworth-Musters on the Shibar Pass as Microtus 
transcaspicus. Ognev (1950, p. 184) considers transcaspicus to be a 
subspecies of M. arvalis. Niethammer (1965, p. 36) concuning, 
considers the specimens collected by Chaworth-Musters to be: 
"typical field voles, differing little from other large subspecies of 


M. arvalis." A superficial comparison of teeth, bullae, and skull 
dimensions of M. arvalis from Iran with specimens from Afghanistan 
supports Niethammer's judgement, i.e., adult voles from Afghanistan 
are similar to adult M. arvalis from Iran (Lay, 1967), but, as shown in 
Table 8, larger. 

The overall appearance of the dorsal pelage of adults collected in 
July is Buffy to Olive Brown. Subadults have darker pelage with 
more black hairs than adults, which, in turn, have darker pelage than 
neighboring Microtus afghanus. 

Six subadults, seemingly from the same litter, were phenotypi- 
cally alike but different from the other 19 voles. These six appear to 
have a black moustache in that the pelage around the base of the 
mystacial vibrisaae and above the nose is black contrasting with 
adjacent Buffy Brown pelage. 

We collected six adults and 19 subadults in July. The grass of the 
swale inhabited by these voles was etched with well-worn trails. 
Voles were collected by placing traps in these runways. Setting our 
traps at dusk produced 15 specimens within an hour. Burrows and 
runways in drier soil adjacent to the swale yielded three Microtus 
afghanus in the same period of time. 

Microtus socialis Pallas Social Vole 

Mtis socialis Pallas, 1773, Reise Russ. Reich., 2, p. 705. 

Type locality. — U.S.S.R. : Grassy regions of desert by Ural River. 

Arvicola guentheri Danford and Alston, 1880, Proc. Zool. Soc, London, p. 62. 

Type locality. — Turkey: Marash. 
Distribution. — 

General: From the Ukraine south to Lybia and east to Rus- 
sian Turkestan and Afghanistan. 

Afghanistan records: Scully (1887, p. 72). 

Third Danish Expedition, 1948-1949 (Gilzai— in the Koh-i- 
Baba Mountains). 

AFGHANISTAN HABITAT: Montane and Steppe biotopes. Ognev 
(1950, p. 322) remarks: "The animal [M. socialis] does not 
avoid low and sometimes moist valleys . . ., dry watershed 
steppes, semi-deserts and deserts, river valleys, and finally 
high plateau steppes ..." 
















Discussion. — 

A single specimen collected by C. E. Yates of the Afghan Boun- 
dary Commission in Afghan Turkestan (= North Afghanistan) was 
identified as Arvicola guentheri by Scully (1887, pp. 72-73). A 
second vole was taken in August, 1948, in the Koh-i-Baba Moun- 
tains northwest of Kabul. This specimen represents a range exten- 
sion of approximately 200 km. southeast of the nearest previously 
recorded locality for this species. 

Ognev (1950, p. 342) refers specifically to the specimen collected 
by Yates and described by Scully, and postulates that M. guentheri 
is a subspecies of M. socialis, a synonym of the subspecies M. 
socialis paradoxus Ognev and Geptner (1928). Lay (1967, p. 167) 
presents much further evidence from specimens of Iran and Turkey 
supporting conspecificity of M. guentheri with M. socialis. 

Microtus juldaschi Severtzov Pamir Vole 

Arvicola juldaschi Severtzov, 1879, Zapiski Turkest. Ot. Obs. Lub. Estest, I, 
p. 63. 

Type locality. — Lake Karakul, in Pamir Mountains, Tadzhik 

Distribution. — 

GENERAL: The Pamir Mountains in Tadjikistan, and Hindu 
Kush Ranges in northeast and central Afghanistan. 

Afghanistan Records: Niethammer (1970, p. 10). 

1965 Street Expedition, FMNH 103118, -19, 20 miles SW of 
Eshkashem along the Faizabad-Eshkashem road. 

Third Danish Expedition, 1948-1949 (Panjao) 

AFGHANISTAN HABITAT: Pamir Voles were collected above 2,000 
m. in montane habitat. Ognev (1950, p. 301), citing M. P. 
Pozanov, writes: "This Pamir endemic lives where wet mea- 
dows and alpine glens occur along rivulets and streams." I 
collected two at approximately 2,700 m. in the watercourse 
biotope which supports his generalization. However, he adds 
that this vole is not highly discriminating in choosing stations. 
The perennial stream along which these two were collected was 
large enough that it supported trout. The clay banks of this 
stream and the surrounding meadow were covered with alfalfa. 


Discussion. — 

The Third Danish Expedition's record represents a range exten- 
sion of approximately 400 km. southwest of the nearest previously 
recorded locality for this species. 

An adult and juvenile were collected by the Street Expedition 
August 18 at the same spot, one at 10:00 p.m., the other around 7:00 
A.M. The adult had two embryos. 

Mice of the genus Microtus were not generally attracted to our 
usual bait. The two specimens of M. juldaschi were each captured 
in a trap placed in a streamside runway. 

Ellobius fuscocapillus Blyth Afghan Mole- Vole 

Georychus fuscocapillus Blyth, 1842, Jour. Asiat. Soc. Bengal. 10, p. 928, nom. 
nud. 1843, Jour. Asiat. Soc. Bengal. II, p. 887. 

Type locality. — Quetta, Baluchistan. 

EUobius intermedius Scully, 1887, Jour. Asiat. Soc. Bengal, 56, p. 7;J. 

Type locality. — Herat, Afghanistan. 

Distribution. — 

general: Eastern Turkey and east throughout the moun- 
tainous periphery of the Iranian Plateau. 

AFGHANISTAN RECORDS: ScuUy (1887, p. 73), Aitchison (1889, 
p. 59), Niethammer (1965, p. 35; 1970, p. 21). 
1965 Street Expedition: FMNH 103167-173. 

AFGHANISTAN HABITAT: They are vertically distributed between 
500 and 2,600 m. in mountains and adjacent steppes. Common 
in the structure biotope, particularly on fallow terraces; also 
found in the clay-and-loess biotope. They are conspicuously 
absent in South Afghanistan. A search extending more than 
300 km. in Monsoonal Afghanistan and the Jalalabad Vale 
failed to reveal any of the characteristic mounds of earth which 
indicate the presence of this vole. 

Taxonomic Notes and Discussion. — 

Scully (1887, p. 73) described Ellobius intermedius from three 
specimens collected at Bokun and Kila Wali (Qala Vali35°47'N, 
63°44'E) in Herat Province. EUerman and Morrison-Scott (1951) 
and Ognev (1950) erroneously give Herat as the type locality for 
this alleged species. 

Scully (1887) used three characters to distinguish between E. 
fuscocapillus and his E. intermedius: the color of the base of the fur, 



Table 9. — Body measurements of Ellobius from Afghanistan. 

(Measurements in mm.) 

Head and 
Species Records Sample body Tail Hind foot 

E.fuscocapillus Scully (1887)' 3 114-127 10-12 20-23 

I Aitchison (1889) 4 98-115(111) 12-16(14) 19.4-20.6(20.4) 

' 1965 Street Exp. 7 114-127(119) 8-16(11) 21-25(23) 

E.talpinus 1965 Street Exp. 16 98-124(109) 6-10(8) 21-24(22) 

' No mean given ; original measurements are in inches. 

the shape and structure of the zygoma, and the presence or absence 
of a posterior lobe behind the last outer angle of MS. Two years 
subsequent to Scully's description of intermedius, Aitchison (1889, 
p. 59) remarked: "The cranial and dental characters Scully gives, 
however, although at first sight they would prove to be of specific 
importance, prove to be so variable within the present series that I 
feel I must adhere to the above determination, [E.fuscocapillus] . . ." 
Ognev (1950, p. 609) is more to the point, noting: "For our part we 
are certain that E. intermedius Scully (from Herat) [sic] is a synonym 
of E. fuscocapillus; the analysis of features given by Scully proved 
fruitless, as none had any validity." In our seven specimens the 
variation of Scully's supposed taxonomic characters supports the 
quoted views of Aitchison and of Ognev. 

Scully's specimens from Qala Vali, a village in the Murghab 
River drainage, represent the northeastern most record (or fuscocapil- 
lus. Further north, but in this same drainage, Bobrinskii et al. (1965) 
illustrates U.S.S.R. distribution records for E. talpinus, and about 
100 km. east of Qala Vali (in an abutting drainage) the Street Expedi- 
tion collected 15 E. talpinus. The geographical proximity of these 
records, the relative continuity of suitable habitat, and the absence of 
geographical barriers suggests that the ranges of these species may 
meet or overlap in the environs of Qala Vali. 

The overall appearance of the dorsal pelage of this species, unlike 
the duller, grayer looking pelage of talpinus, is Avellaneous to Pink- 
ish Cinnamon. As shown in Table 9, its body dimensions are on the 
average larger than those of talpinus. 

Fig. 15. The records and estimated limits of distribution for Ellobius fusco- 
capillus (F'.) and Ellobius talpinus (T'). Three records within the zone of dis- 
tribution overlap are for fuscocapillus. 


Field Notes and Discussion. — 

The mole-vole is aptly named. Earth is ejected upon the sm-face 
from the mouths of lateral tunnels of usually shallow burrows, form- 
ing small mounds about 300 mm. wide and 100 mm. high; subse- 
quently the lateral tunnel leading from the mound to the main pas- 
sage is plugged with soil. During the course of our expedition 
we excavated approximately 150 such lateral tunnels, and succeeded 
in finding the open main passage in about 75 per cent of them. 

I counted over 100 separate mounds of ejected earth on a 30 by 
50 m. terrace between Kabul and Paghman in November. Approxi- 
mately 10 per cent of these mounds were fresh, indicating recent 
digging. Although abundant where they were found, we noticed 
some peculiarities in their geographic distribution. Mounds were 
locally abundant near the eastern edge of collecting locality 9, but 
we saw nothing suggesting the presence of mole voles near the 
western end of this same locality. Two roads separated by a hill 
connect Paghman with Kabul. No Ellobius mounds were seen along 
the route which traverses the southwestern exposure, but I saw over 
1,000 mounds on fallow terraces and earthen banks along the alter- 
nate route, which traverses the northeastern exposure of this hill. 

Plugged burrows leading from fresh mounds were excavated with 
a spoon and small shovel on Sauzak Pass (Sept. 21) and near Herat 
(Sept. 16-20), Gardez (Oct. 8), and Paghman (Nov. 22-26). In 
most instances the plug ended within a third of a meter revealing the 
main burrow system. Mole voles were collected by so unplugging 
their burrow systems, hollowing out a chamber (150 mm. deep), 
placing a mouse trap baited with melon, onion, or stock bait in the 
chamber, making sure there was enough vertical space for the trap 
to operate properly, and, finally, excluding light and drafts from the 
excavation by placing a piece of cardboard covered with soil or a 
rock over the chamber. Approximately 50 trap nights equally dis- 
tributed between the above localities yielded four specimens. Of 
the 46 remaining sets at least 35 were rendered useless with fresh 
earth delivered by a resident mole vole. This experience stimulated 
me to repeat the procedure but to place a mole trap at the entrance 
of each. Doubtless to replug the lateral tunnel, a vole pushed earth 
into the trigger of the trap and was caught. Using this method at 
dusk (near Paghman) I collected three specimens from ten traps 
within an hour. 

We encountered what seems a difference in response from E. 
talpinus. Approximately 50 trap nights (near Mazar-i-Sharif, Sept. 


6; and in Maimana, Sept. 8-14) using the chamber set yielded 16 
individuals in this case, and only about 25 traps were covered with 
earth. These results, when compared with the above figures for a 
similar number of trap nights for E. fuscocapillus, suggest that the 
sampled segment of each species reacted differentially to the same 
stimulus. An environmental difference such as declining food re- 
source could have facilitated the successful use of the chamber set in 
North Afghanistan. The mean air temperature recorded at camp 
was 20.5°C or above during the period when talpinus were collected 
and below 15.0°C when fuscocapillus, without exception, ignored the 
proffered bait. Perhaps lower temperatures stimulated fuscocapillus 
to re-establish environmental equilibrium by shoving earth into the 
chamber to close off the leak of humid and constant temperature air, 
and incidentally by shoving earth into the chamber to cover the 
trap and food. 

Ellobius talpinus Pallas Northern Mole-Vole 

Mus talpinus Pallas, 1770, Nov. Comm. Acad. Petrop., 14, 1, p. 568. 
Type locality. — Kostytchi, west bank of River Volga, Russia. 

Distribution. — 

General: The southern Ukraine through southern Russia to 
Chinese Sinkiang and western Mongolia; reaching its southern 
limit of distribution in North Afghanistan. 

AFGHANISTAN RECORDS: Niethammer (1965, p. 35; 1970, p. 8). 

1965 Street Expedition; FMNH 103151-166. 

AFGHANISTAN HABITAT: Found below 1,300 m. in the clay-and- 
loess and structure biotopes in North Afghanistan, it is com- 
mon on fallow terraces and alluvial fans. Ognev (1950, pp. 
584-590) summarizes the natural history of this species, in- 
dicating that it is found in a variety of habitats. 

Discussion. — 

Niethammer (1965, p. 35) comments: "Dr. Meyer-Oehme re- 
ported it in Afghanistan from remnants in pellets collected near 
Balkh." Subsequently, Niethammer (1970) collected four talpinus 
near the Amu Darya (river) north of Taliq-an. The first collections 
of whole specimens were made by the Street Expedition. A descrip- 
tion of the method used to trap this species is given in the foregoing 
account on E. fuscocapillus. 



Gerbillus cheesmani Thomas Cheesman's Gerbil 

Gerbilhts cheesmayii Thomas, 1919, Jour. Bombay Nat. Soc. 26, p. 748. 
Type locality.— Iraq, near Basra. 

Distribution. — 

GENERAL: Iraq, Arabia, Iran, and Afghanistan. 

AFGHANISTAN RECORDS: 1965 Street Expedition: FMNH 
103206-246, in alcohol 103226-35, skin only 103206, -07, -09, 
-10, -12-17, -19-22, -24, -25, -36. 

AFGHANISTAN HABITAT: Found below 1,000 m. in the sand 
biotope in South Afghanistan. Vegetation: medium to high 
density, low shade, one or two strata, clumped distribution, 
low to high homogeneity. 

Taxonomic Notes. — 

The overall tone of the dorsal pelage is sandy orange. There is a 
small white spot above each eye and behind each ear. Flanks, belly, 
and feet (including the soles) covered with white hair. Tail similar 
to back, sometimes white ventrally, and dorsally tipped with Light 
Drab hairs. 

The mean and extreme skull length for 11 skulls: 29.1-32.4 
(31.3) . This compares with 27.3-28.4 mm. for three G. gleadowi from 
the Sind, W. Pakistan as given by Siddiqi (1961, p. 216) for the 
occipitonasal length. The mean and extreme dimensions for nine 
topotypical G. gleadowi skins given by Murray (1886, p. 246) in his 
original description of this Oriental gerbil are: HB 82-89 (83.9); 
T 117-133 (126.8) ; HF 28-30 (29.3) ; and E 9-11 (10.5). Apparently, 
cheesmani from Afghanistan (table 10) is a larger species than the 
typical gleadowi from the Sind. Whether these two species can be 
maintained as such, on the basis of size alone, remains to be seen. 

Field Notes. — 

The most northwestern record for this species was made by Mr. 
Atallah about 5 km. due west of the Kandahar International Airport 

This species was numerous in the sand dunes west of Spin Baldak. 
A census of active burrows revealed there were at least 100 animals 
per hectare in certain areas. In one such area we caught 30 speci- 
mens within two hours after dusk using 150 museum specials baited 
with our stock bait. Their burrows are from 40-60 mm. in diameter 
and usually located in sandy soil, often under a thorny shrub. They 
were easily trapped. 

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This species has at least one activity peak, at dusk. On October 
31 we were setting traps in low ridges of sand located along a wadi 
about 15 km. west of Spin Baldak near the Afghan-Pakistan border. 
There was an appreciable amount of daylight remaining when Dr. 
Lewis called my attention to a small gully (about 1 m. from where we 
stood) with shrubby clumps of Haloxylon obscuring about 50 per cent 
of the sandy substrate. For approximately 3 m. to the right and 
left of our vantage point we were able to count at least ten G. 
cheesmani retrieving seeds from near the tops of the shrubby Haloxy- 
lon, some plants a half meter high. The climbers appeared to be 
agile. Approaching to within a meter of one gerbil-adorned shrub 
sent them scurrying in all directions. At this point there appeared 
to be twice as many as I had counted before. In any event, at least 
ten gerbils were feeding within 2 sq. m. 

Gerbillus nanus Blanford Baluchistan Gerbil 

Gerbillns nanus Blanford, 1875, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., 16, p. 312. 
Type locality. — Gedrosia, further specified as Baluchistan (W. 
Pakistan), Saman Dasht by Blanford (1876, p. 72). 

Distribution. — 

GENERAL: South of the Mediterranean from Algeria through 
parts of Arabia, Iran, Afghanistan, and Baluchistan eastward 
to the Punjab in northwest India. 

AFGHANISTAN RECORDS: Niethammer (1965, p. 33). 

1965 Street Expedition: FMNH 103174-205, in alcohol 
103174, -78, -83, -84, skin only 103175, -76, -77, -79, -81, -85, 
-86, -87, -88, -90, -91, -93, -94. (see: Discussion). 

AFGHANISTAN HABITAT: Typically found in the clay-and-loess, 
watercourse and structure biotopes, and to a lesser extent in the 
alluvial ecotone between the rock and clay-and-loess biotopes 
below 1,150 m. in South Afghanistan. We found their burrows 
in vegetation characteristic of the southern semideserts having 
a low to medium density, low shade, one stratum, a clumped 
distribution, and usually high homogeneity. 

Discussioji. — 

This species was previously listed by Sclater (1891, p. 51) as 
being collected from Gulistan in Afghanistan. J. A. Murray was 
cited as the collector. Murray (1887, pp. 50-69, 106-124) reports 
on the "Zoology of Beloochistan and Southern Afghanistan"; how- 


ever, the specimens he lists from southern Afghanistan are, with few 
exceptions, from the deserts and mountains surrounding Quetta in 
W. Pakistan. Accordingly, Gulistan is north of Quetta, but not in 

Gerbillus was easily collected from mouse-size burrows using 
museum special snap traps baited with peanut butter. Three 
specimens were captured with the aid of a spotlight and net. 

Tatera indica Hardwicke Indian Gerbil 

Dipus indicus Hardwicke, 1807, Trans. Linn. Soc. London, 8, p. 279. 
Type locality. — United Provinces between Benares and Hardwar, 


Distribution. — 

GENERAL: Syria and northern Arabia through parts of Persia, 
Afghanistan, W. Pakistan, and India south to Ceylon. 

AFGHANISTAN RECORDS: Hutton (1845, pp. 137-139), (Accord- 
ing to Sclater, 1891, p. 48, J. A. Murray collected Gerbillus 
indicus = Tatera indica from Gulistan, Afghanistan, but as 
mentioned before, the "Gulistan" in question is in W. Pakis- 
tan.) Niethammer (1965, p. 33). Gaisler et al. (1967). 

1965 Street Expedition: FMNH 103247, 103250-273, in 
alcohol 103252, -65, -80, -81, skin only 103272, -76, -77. 

AFGHANISTAN HABITAT: This subtropical species reaches the 
northern limit of its distribution in Afghanistan. It was 
usually found below 1,000 m. in the clay-and-loess, water- 
course, and structure biotopes in the steppes and semi-deserts 
of dry Afghanistan. Vegetation was frequently characterized 
by high density and low homogeneity in the vicinity of their 

Discussion. — 

The northernmost record of this species is Herat where we 
purchased four specimens that had been captured in local bazaars 
near our camp. The fact that our traps set beyond the city of Herat 
in Tatera habitat failed to yield this species suggests that man may 

Fig. 17. Records and estimated limits of distribution for Tatera indica. Four 
specimens caught within the city of Herat may be accidental introductants and 
as such may not reflect a continuous distribution this far north. 



have facilitated their distribution this far north. In fact, Gaisler 
et al. (1967) calls Tatera a hemisynanthrope in Afghanistan, but he 
adds, it does not invade continuous human habitations. As shown 
in Figure 17 their distribution is disjunct in Afghanistan. Nietham- 
mer (1965, p. 33) remarks: "Its distribution in Afghanistan is the 
same as that of Gerhillus nanus." I found no evidence which would 
suggest G. nanus occurred as far north as Herat or in the Jalalabad 

These nocturnal rodents were commonly found in colonies, 
occasionally in a single burrow. The highest density that we encoun- 
tered, as shown by trapping records, burrows, and well-worn trails, 
was along the steep banks of irrigation ditches which supplied the 
pomegranate orchards of Kandahar with water. As one example, 
six rat traps set at 2 or 3 m. intervals along a well-worn trail at the 
base of a mud wall separating two pomegranate orchards caught five 
adult Tatera. 

Meriones crassus Sundevall Sundevall's Jird 

Meriones crassus Sundevall, 1842, K. Sv. Vetensk. Akad. Handl., p. 233. 
Type locality. — Sinai: Fons Moses (Ain Musa). 

Distribution. — 

GENERAL: Western Sahara to West Pakistan reaching its north- 
ern limit of distribution in Iran and Afghanistan (see com- 
ments below) . 

AFGHANISTAN RECORDS: ScuUy (1881, p. 228), Ellerman (1948, 
p. 797). 

Niethammer (1966-67, in litt., Kandahar, and owl pellets 
from Herat.) 

1965 Street Expedition: FMNH 103285-326, in alcohol 
103324, skin only 103285-289, -291-294, -296-299, -301, -302. 

AFGHANISTAN HABITAT: Common below 1,500 m. in the clay- 
and-loess, and ephemeral watercourse (wadi) biotopes, and in 
the ecotone between the clay-and-loess and sand biotopes. 
Characteristic vegetation: low to medium density, low shade, 
one stratum, a clumped distribution and medium to high homo- 

Taxonomic Notes and Discussion. — 

Scully (1881, p. 228) described Gerhillus swinhoei (=M. crassus 
swinhoei) from Gatai between Kandahar and Kojak Pass, about 








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10 miles (16 km.) north of the Afghan-Baluchistan border. He re- 
marks: "The animal, though not very old, appears to be quite full- 
grown." Measurements of the type compared with 42 specimens of 
adult crassus (including 22 virtual topotypes) contradict Scully's 
estimation of full growth. None of our material is as small as the 
type. I was able to examine the type skull which, contrary to Eller- 
man (1948, p. 797), is unbroken. Its occipitonasal length is 30.1. 
The occipitonasal length for 10 skulls from Afghanistan ranges from 
31.1-35.5. See also Table 11. The type for M. crassus swinhoei was 
described from a growing subadult. 

Chaworth-Musters and Ellerman (1947, p. 487) and Ellerman 
and Morrison-Scott (1951, p. 647) make M. zarudnyi a subspecies of 
M. crassus, thus M. crassus zarudnyi. The recent comments by Lay 
(1967, p. 182) and the observations reported below in the species 
account of M. zarudnyi both support Heptner's (1937, pp. 189, 191) 
original assessment of the status of M. zarudnyi, that it is quite dis- 
tinct from M. crassus and other species of Meriones. The inclusion, 
as by Ellerman and Morrison-Scott (1951, p. 647), of: "extreme south 
Russian Turkestan," in the range of M. crassus is therefore no longer 

Field Notes and Discussion. — 

When located, this species was easily trapped using museum 
special snap traps or rat traps, preferably the latter. Over 75 per 
cent of our catch was made between dusk and 10:00 p.m., although the 
traplines were run again after ten. 

A small, roadside guUey south of Kandahar had 100 burrow 
entrances in as many meters, which we recognized to be those of this 
species. Burrow orifices were often under thorny shrubs, although 
many were also found in areas devoid of vegetation. A wadi skirting 
a pebble desert southwest of Qala Bust contained burrows recognized 
as of this species, evenly distributed, about one per 15 sq. m. for 1 km. 

Meriones hurrianae Jerdon Indian Desert Gerbil 

Gerbillus hurrianae Jerdon, 1867, Mamm. India. 

Type locality. — India: Punjab: Hissar. 
Distribution. — 

General: Northwestern India and West Pakistan. 

Afghanistan Records: Sclater (1891), Thomas (1919, p. 72). 

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Afghanistan Habitat: Records from India and Baluchistan 
suggest the Indian Desert Gerbil will be found below 1,500 m. 
in the clay-and-loess and sand biotopes. According to Blan- 
ford (1888-1891, pp. 398, 399): "This gerbille abounds in 
sandy desert or semi-desert, and is particularly common in 
Sind and the Indian desert between the Indus and Rajputana, 
where its holes are found everywhere, especially at the roots of 
bushes amongst the sand-hills." 

Discussion. — 

Records of this gerbil from Afghanistan are questionable. Its 
existence in Afghanistan has not been verified by recent collections 
in its typical habitat. 

Ellerman (1948, p. 794) gives the measurements of a specimen 
from Attok, Afghanistan. Niethammer (1965, pp. 36, 37) asserts 
that the occurrence of hurrianae in Afghanistan has not been proved 
in that: "I have not been able to find a place of this name [Attok] in 
Afghanistan. Possibly Attock on the Indus was meant, where M. 
hurrianae occurs." 

I agree that the Attok in question is probably in W. Pakistan, 
however, there are two other records to contend with. According to 
Thomas (1919, pp. 726, 727), in his description of the subspecies 
Cheliones hurriane collinus (=M. hurrianae), the type of this sub- 
species is from Kohat, N.W.F.P., W. Pakistan and other specimens 
are from: ". . . Attock, Khelat-i-Ghilzai, Afghanistan, and Baluchis- 
tan . . ." 

Disregarding "Attock," the remaining locality Khelat-i-Ghilzai 
is between Ghazni and Kandahar in East Afghanistan. This is the 
only known locality from which M. hurricanae has been collected in 
Afghanistan. Sclater (1891) reports on a specimen collected by 
Griffith in Afghanistan, but as usual Griffith failed to give an exact 

Other than the limited amount of suitable habitat transcending 
the elevation barrier imposed by the rim of the Iranian Plateau, there 
is no apparent reason why M. hurrianae will not eventually be "re- 
discovered" in Afghanistan. 

Meriones libycus Lichtenstein 

Meriones libycus Lichtenstein, 1823, Verz. Doubl. Mus. Berlin, 5. 

Type locality. — Egypt: near Alexandria. 


The following species previously recorded from Afghanistan is 
considered (according to Ellerman and Morrison-Scott, 1951) to be 
a subspecies of M. libycus. 

Gerbillus erythrourus Gray, 1842, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., 10, p. 266. 

Type locality. — Sahlabad, about 12 miles south-west of Kandahr. 

Distribution. — 

General: Western Sahara eastward across the Iranian Plateau 
and as far north as the Aral Sea and Lake Balkash in Russian 
Turkestan, and reaching the eastern limit of its distribution 
in Sinkiang, China. 

Afghanistan Records: Gray (1842, p. 266); Hutton (1846, 
p. 139); Horsfield (1851, p. 15); Murray (1887, p. 121); Scully 
(1887, p. 71) ; Aitchison (1889, p. 59); Ellerman (1948, p. 796); 
Zimmemtian (1955, p. 71); Niethammer (1965, p. 34); Gaisler 
etal. (1967). 

1965 Street Expedition FMNH: 103249, -327 352, -354 396, 
-407-484, -511-515, in alcohol: 103343, -345-347, -350, -357, 
-358, -364, -371, -385, -392, -413, -414, -417, -422, -426, -428, 
-445-449, -452-455, -457, -460, -468, -476, skull only: 103395, 
-439, skin only: 103471, -476. 

Afghanistan Habitat: Common below 2,000 m. throughout 
the steppes and semi-deserts of dry Afghanistan. It was col- 
lected in every biotope, the largest concentrations being found 
in the drier structure biotopes. Characteristic vegetation: 
medium-to-high density, low shade, one or two strata, clumped 
distribution and low to high homogeneity. 

Taxonomic Notes and Discussion. — 

Scully (1887, p. 71) describes a Gerbillus sp. from Balkh, North 
Afghanistan. From his description it could be concluded that this 
specimen is either M. zarudnyi or M. libycus, although he asserts: 
". . . neither can it be referred to G. erythrurus [=M. libycus erythru- 
rus] with which I have compared it." I have assigned this specimen 
to libycus rather than zarudnyi for the following reason. The mea- 
surements of the skin as given by Scully (see table 11) are similar 
to those of libycus rather than zarudnyi, the latter being slightly 
larger in all respects, but especially the ears which are at least 8 mm. 
longer. Even if Scully measured the ear at front from notch of orifice 
it would be approximately only 2 mm. longer, not eight. In fact 



if 2 mm. were added, Scully's Gerbillus sp. would be average for 
Afghan libycus. 

For libycus the overall tone of the dorsal pelage ranges from 
slightly grizzled Cinnamon Buff to Tawny Olive, and in this sub- 
adults resemble adults. Tails are Pinkish Buff to Sayal Brown, fre- 
quent bicolor appearance depending on the intensity of black tipping 
of dorsal hairs. The distal third of the tail is dorsally covered with 
black hairs, of which those at the tail tip range from 15 to 30 mm. 
long. The color of the belly varies from light gray to white. Feet 
are covered with whitish or Pinkish Buff hair. Soles of hind feet 
have hair except for a naked strip extending from the heel along the 
medial side of the foot to slightly beyond the tarso-metatarsal joint. 
Molt had no obvious effect on the general tone of the dorsal pelage. 
About half of our specimens have one or more molt lines, appearing 
as gray or black crescents which may be irregularly distributed from 
the head to the base of the tail, according to the progress of the molt. 
Molting specimens were collected from July through November. 

Field Notes and Discussion. — 

A female taken July 13 had six embryos. Five of six specimens 
collected near Paghman in July were sub-adults. In October, a sec- 
ond collection from this locality yielded 11 adults and one sub-adult. 

Populous colonys were often found to be associated with disrup- 
tions of the natural surface of the soil. For example, in a graveyard 
south of Kunduz each of more than 50 grave mounds had its comple- 
ment of from one to four burrow openings. Few holes were seen 
between the grave mounds. In virtually every locality where we 
collected this jird on the steppe north of Kunduz burrows were con- 
centrated around earthen ruins and along dry, unused irrigation 

Near Ghazni in a large colony consisting of approximately 300 
burrows unequally distributed over a square kilometer, a few bur- 
rows were excavated. This revealed that not all active burrows 
(well-worn with fresh tracks in the dust) were occupied. Vacant 
burrows consisted of two holes with a shallow tunnel between them. 
Piles of seed husks at the entrances of these holes indicate they might 
be used as a temporary refuge while feeding on seeds carried in their 
cheek pouches. 

This rodent is active during the day and night. Since baiting 
rat traps with our stock bait and placing them in the entrances 
(depressions were frequently scooped-out to hold the trap) of bur- 


rows before nightfall usually provided us with a significant sample 
within an hour after sundown, it appears that at least one peak of 
activity is at dusk. 

Meriones meridianus Pallas Midday Gerbil 

Mus meridianus Pallas, 1773, Reise Russ. Reichs, 2, p. 702. 
Type locality. — U.S.S.R.: Near Novo-Bogatinsk, Uralsk Region, 


Distribution. — 

General: Centers of distribution occurring between 35° and 
50° north latitude from the Northern Caucasus, throughout 
Russian Turkestan to Northern China reaching its northern 
and southern limits of distribution in Mongolia and Afghanis- 
tan respectively. 

Afghanistan Records: Gaisler et al. (1967). Niethammer 
(1967, in litt., bones in owl pellets from near Darkat on the 
Amu Darya). 

1965 Street Expedition: FMNH 103353. 

Afghanistan Habitat: Two males were taken at 500 m. in the 
clay-and-loess biotope on the steppe, 25 and 27 km. north of 
Kunduz. This species probably occurs in similar situations 
in North and Northwest Afghanistan. 

Kuznetzov (in Bobrinski et al., 1965, p. 303) includes 
northern Afghanistan in the general distribution of this species. 
The above records substantiate this estimation. 

Discussion. — 

The following description was made on the specimen collected 
by the Street Expedition: The overall tone of the dorsal pelage is 
Pinkish to Cinnamon-Buff. The tail is Pinkish Buff, the terminal 
fourth slightly tufted, and dorsally tipped with black. The belly and 
paws are covered with white hair. 

Occipitonasal length of skull, 31.5 mm.; greatest breadth across 
bullae, 17.3; least interorbital constriction, 5.5; length of upper 
molar tooth row, 4.3; length of palatine slits, 4.8 mm. 

The above specimen, a mature male with descended testes, was 
captured within a large colony of M. libycus. It is a smaller species 
with a relatively shorter tail and hind feet than libycus (see table 11). 
However, the most distinctive character separating these species is 


the sole of the hind foot which is fully furred in meridianus but has a 
naked medial strip extending from the tip of the calcaneus to 
slightly beyond the tarsometatarsal joint in libycus. 

The Street specimen and 49 M. libycus were collected from the 
same site 27 km. north of Kunduz suggesting that either meridianus 
is trap shy, occurs in low numbers, or that our trapping-technique 
biased our catch in favor libycus. The male specimen reported by 
Gaisler et al. (1967) was shot while night hunting north of Kunduz. 

Meriones persicus Blanford Persian Jird 

Gerbillus persicus Blanford, 1875, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., 16, p. 312. 

Type locality. — Iran: Isfahan Province; Qohrud. See Lay (1967, 
p. 175). 

Distribution. — 

General: Eastern Turkey, southwestern Russian Turkestan, 
and throughout the Iranian Plateau, but not in the Caspian 
or Monsoonal Forests. 

AFGHANISTAN RECORDS: Ellerman (1948, p. 793) notes: "M. 
persicus is found in Afghanistan, where Chaworth-Musters tells 
me he obtained a specimen."; Niethammer (1965, p. 35); 
Gaisler etal. (1967). 

1965 Street Expedition FMNH 103397-406, -485-508, -516- 
527, in alcohol 103518, skin only 103521. 

Afghanistan Habitat: Found between 700 and 2,500 m. in the 
mountains and foothills of dry Afghanistan, occurring in the 
rock and watercourse biotopes. Characteristic vegetation: 
low density, low shade, one stratum, a clumped distribution and 
low-to-high homogeneity. 

Discussion. — 

Subadult animals were caught from July through early Novem- 
ber. Our catch during the month of July consisted of 17 subadults 
and six adults. 

Approximately 50 burrows scattered for 200 m. along the base of 
a conglomerate cliff 5 km. west of Bamian yielded nine specimens 
before 9:00 p.m. Chunks of conglomerate furnished these jirds with 
shelter as did rocks in other areas. According to Niethammer (1965, 
p. 33), this species: ". . . is rarely seen, as it is nocturnal and solitary, 
in contrast to M. libycus, which lives in colonies." Within 4 km. of 
Kandahar I watched three jirds scurrying back and forth under a 



flat, table-sized boulder at 4:00 P.M. in bright sunlight. When dis- 
turbed, they ran into rock crevices, but when they reappeared within 
15 minutes they were collected. 

Lay (1967, p. 177) observed "colonies" of Meriones persicus. I 
agree with Niethammer that this species is rarely seen, but our find- 
ings do not support Niethammer's observations that it is a solitary 
rodent or even wholly nocturnal. A more plausible reason for its 
being rarely seen is that it uses successfully the rocky cover typical of 
its habitat. 

Meriones zarudnyi Hepner Zarudny's Jird 

Meriones zarudnyi Heptner, 1937, Bull. Soc. Nat. Moscou, Biol., 46, pp. 189, 

Type locality. — Kushka, along the Afghan frontier of Turkmen, 

Distribution. — 

General: This little known species has previously been col- 
lected only in southern Turkmen, S.S.R. A specimen reported 
by Heptner (1937, p. 191) from Lake Urmia, northwestern 
Iran, is, according to Lay (1970, in litt.), M. tristrami, thus 
EUerman and Morrison-Scott's (1951, p. 647) inclusion of Iran 
in the range of zarudnyi is no longer warranted. 

Afghanistan Records: 1965 Street Expedition: FMNH 
103509, -510. 

Afghanistan Habitat: We collected our two specimens at 
approximately 900 m. from a roadside threshing platform 11 
km. north of Maimana, and from the ruins of an old building 
along the southern edge of the Maimana Oasis (see Hassinger, 
1968, fig. 19). The nearby vegetation was of medium density, 
low shade, one stratum, clumped distribution, and low-to- 
high homogeneity. 

Taxonomic Notes and Discussion. — 

This species is earlier known from two specimens, which were 
reported upon by Heptner (1937, pp. 191, 192) in his type description 
of zarudnyi, when he found them in the Zoological Institute of the 
Academy of Sciences (Leningrad) and in the Zoological Museum of 
the Moscow University. A third specimen reported from Iran by 
Heptner (op cit.) is in fact M. tristrami (Lay, 1970, in litt.). Sub- 
sequently, Heptner (1958, pp. 141-147) reports 43 specimens from 
the Karabil Desert, WNW of Maimana, but in Turkomen, S.S.R. 


Ellerman and Morrison-Scott (1951, p. 647) make M. zarudnyi 
a subspecies of M. crassus without having seen any specimens of 
M. zarudnyi. Meriones crassus is a smaller species, quite distinct 
from zarudnyi. Lay (1967, p. 182) gives the mean and extremes of 
the greatest length of the 24 largest skulls of a series of 41 M. crassus 
from Iran as 35.2 (29.5-38.3), The greatest cranium length given 
by Heptner (1937, p. 192) for the type specimen zarudnyi is 41.8 mm. 
or 3.5 mm. longer than the largest crassus skull. Skull measurements 
for the type (fide Heptner, 1937), FMNH 103509, and FMNH 
103510 are, respectively: greatest cranium length, 41.8, 38.9, 43.9; 
condylobasal length, 34.4, 31.8, 36.8; zygomatic breadth, 22.8, 21.0, 
22.7; bullar length, 16.4, 13.6, 16.3; and bullar breadth, 11.1, 10.6, 
11.2. The largest dimensions of 42 M. crassus skins from South 
Afghanistan (see table 11) are, for each character, considerably 
smaller than the smallest figures given for zarudnyi. Thus, none of 
a series of 83 M. . crassus from the Iranian Plateau is as large as the 
smallest M. zarudnyi. 

In addition to difference in size these allopatric species (c.f. fig. 
18, fig. 20) have structurally different bullae. In the type descrip- 
tion, Heptner (1937, pp. 191, 192) concludes that the systematic 
position of M. zaurdnyi is closer to jirds that have no inflation on the 
bullae anterior to the meatus, e.g., the species M. tristrami and 
persicus, than to species with this area inflated, e.g., M. crassus. 

In the two specimens from Afghanistan zarudnyi superficially 
resembles M. persicus more than any other species of Meriones. 
These two are, however, readily distinguishable by zarudnyi having 
a haired sole except for a naked strip which extends from the cal- 
caneum to the middle of the metatarsal region, while persicus has a 
completely naked sole. In the auditory bullae M. zarudnyi has a 
membrane superior to the manubrium and tympanum, which is 
replaced by bone in persicus; so that when one looks into the external 
auditory meatus, the malleus and incus are visible in zarudnyi but 
hidden mediad to a bony partition in persicus. M. zarudnyi is 
regarded as a distinct species because of these differences of the sole 
and the ear bones. 

Field Notes and Discussion. — 

At each of two threshing platforms, which were literally riddled 
with burrows, placing more than 60 traps yielded a single M. 
zarudnyi. Among the ruins illustrated in Figure 19 by Hassinger 
(1968), we trapped a second zarudnyi in a colony of Rhombomys 



opimus. Traps were placed prior to dusk and retrieved before 11 :00 
P.M. Since both specimens were taken before nightfall, leaving our 
traps set during the day might have increased our catch. 

RhomboiTiys opimus Lichtenstein Great Jird 

Meriones opimus Lichtenstein, 1823, Eversmann. Reise Buchara, 122. 

Type locality. — Kazakstan SSR: Aral-Kara Kum (see Bobrinski 
et al., 1965, p. 306). 

Distribution. — 

General: Below 48° latitude in Russian Turkestan from the 
Caspian Sea to the western border of Mongolia, reaching its 
southern limits of distribution in Baluchistan and Sinkiang. 

Afghanistan Records: Eliseev and Kellina (1963, pp. 728- 
735), Niethammer (1965, p. 34). 

1965 Street Expedition FMNH 103528, 530-565, in alcohol 
103540, -546-549, -561. 

Meinertzhagen, 1937, (Kunduz, FMNH 48480) ; Third Dan- 
ish Expedition 1948-1949 (Miana Bam). 

Afghanistan Habitat: Numerous below 900 m. in the clay- 
and-loess, structure, and watercourse biotopes in North and 
Northwest Afghanistan. Probably scattered along Afghanis- 
tan's western and southern border (see Lay et al., 1970). 

According to Eliseev and Kellina (1963, pp. 728-735) : "These ro- 
dents are the most numerous in the premountainous regions, where 
the (southern) border of the distribution coincides with a band of 
loess deposits, passing along the whole of northern Afghanistan at 
400-800 m. above sea level. To the north of the premountainous 
areas in the Bactrian Plain, R. opimus is distributed in the sands and 
oases where they inhabit the embankments along irrigation canals, 
ruins and cemeteries." 

Characteristic vegetation: medium-to-high density, low shade, 
one stratum, irregular distribution, and usually a medium-to-high 

Discussion. — 

Rhombomys opimus is diurnal with at least one peak of activity 
at dusk. They were easily shot during the day and trapped at dusk, 
but not seen abroad at night. 

Huge colonies, frequently imparting a sieve-like appearance to 
the loess slopes along our route, were common. The largest such 



colony I noted covered an entire hillside for approximately 5 km. 
This south-east facing, 25-40° slope (situated between Bala Murghab 
and Sauzak Pass) was conservatively estimated to be 200 m, from 
top to bottom. A photograph of a 150 m- sample plot showed at least 
100 burrow orifices suggesting the hill was riddled with over 6,000 
holes. This is not meant to imply each hole or set of holes was used 
or occupied. In another locality (20 km. west of Kunduz) investiga- 
tion of this revealed that only 50-75 per cent of the holes of a roadside 
colony showed evidence of being used, the remaining burrows being 
caved in or partially filled with debris. 

No piling (stores) of vegetation was seen, although loose twigs 
(species of Chenopodiaceae) and grass stems were often found at 
bun'ow entrances as if dropped after the leaves had been eaten off. 
A specimen taken near Kunduz had a mouth full of a legume. Inter- 
colonial vegetation having a lower density than extracolonial vegeta- 
tion suggests that these herbivorous rodents are capable of overgraz- 
ing local areas. For example, the loess bank of a large erosion gulley 
16 km. south of Mazar-i-Sharif had vegetation with a low density 
within a colony of approximately 100 burrow openings scattered over 
200 sq. m. Beyond this colony vegetation had a medium to high 

A female collected on the September 10 had four embryos. 

Apodemus sylvaticus Linnaeus Wood or Field Mouse 

Mils sylvaticus Linnaeus, 1758, Syst. Nat., 10th ed., 1, p. 62. 
Type locality. — Sweden: Upsala. 

Distribution. — 

General: Throughout Eurasia from the British Isles to Japan, 
and from Morocco through Iran and northern Afghanistan to 
northern Burma. 

AFGHANISTAN RECORDS: Blanford (1881, p. 162), Zimmerman 
1955, p. 191), Niethammer (1965, p. 28; 1969, pp. 121-128). 

1965 Street Expedition: FMNH 103566-601, in alcohol 
103575, -76, -77, -84, -85. 

1939 Chaworth-Musters Expedition (Paghman, ShibarPass), 
Third Danish Expedition, 1948-1949 (Wama, Pashki). 

Afghanistan Habitat: Found between 2,000 and 3,000 m. in 
wet and dry montane biotopes, with vegetation characterized 
by high density, or at least high shade. All of our 36 specimens 



were trapped from under or near rocks; 25 of them were living 
or foraging around rock walls or fences. 

Taxonomic Notes and Discussion. — 

Ellerman (1948, p. 815) gives the mean occipitonasal length for 
five of Chaworth-Muster's specimens (four from Paghman) as 27.0 
mm. and tentatively refers these mice to Apodemus flavicoUis. He 
distinguishes A. flavicoUis from sylvaticus on the basis of mean 
occiptonasal length, which for the latter is given as averaging less 
than 27 mm. for each race. 

Zimmerman (1955, p. 191) gives the extreme occipitonasal lengths 
for four specimens collected from the Salang Pass as 24.5 and 26.4 
mm. He classifies these mice as Apodemus sylvaticus arianus and 
suggests the Apodemus collected by Chaworth-Musters are a'so 

Niethammer (1965, p. 28)— upon examining the specimens col- 
lected by Musters plus at least 20 others, including a series of 15 
from Paghman — supports Zimmerman, concluding: "Ellerman 
(1948) identified it [sylvaticus] erroneously as flavicoUis, a related 
species from which it is not easily distinguished." 

We obtained a series of 14 Apodemus from Paghman. The mean 
and extreme occipitonasal lengths of five adults is 26.1 mm. (25.4 
26.8). If we agree with Ellerman's key-separation oi flavicoUis and 
sylvaticus, this race must be referred to A. sylvaticus, hence my 
observations are in agreement with those of Zimmerman and 
Niethammer. (See also table 12.) 

A series of 13 from the Wakhan Region and eight from Sauzak 
Pass resemble our Paghman series in virtually every respect of 
dimensions and pelage. Everything considered, the existence of two 
sympatric species of Apodemus has not been demonstrated for 

Field Notes and Discussion. — 

Pregnant females, one with five and another with six embryos, 
were acquired on July 17 and August 18, respectively. 

Approximately 300 trap nights each in "typical" Apodemus 
habitat — as indicated by our own results — failed to yield a single 
specimen near Ghazni, Gardez, Shibar Pass, or in the low, rocky 
mountains south of Mazar-i-Sharif and east of Maimana. Approxi- 
mately 200 trap nights in Nuristan yielded nothing but Mns at 
1,300 m. in the evergreen oak biotope, but higher, around 2,100 m., 

t- t- CX) cc c- 

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in the coniferous biotope 30 trap nights produced an Apodemus. As 
Niethammer (1965, p. 28) writes: "A. sylvaticus reaches the southern 
limit of its distribution in Afghanistan and is therefore restricted to 
higher mountain regions." This may also explain our finding in 
various places an absence or scarcity of this otherwise prolific 
mammal in its typical habitat. 

Where Mus and Apodemus occurred together the latter was never 
taken as close to human habitations as the former. Apodemus were 
lured with our stock bait or, in two instances, with tainted meat. 

Rattus rattoides Hodgson Turkestan Rat 

Mu8 rattoides Hodgson, 1845, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., 15, p. 267. 

Type locality. — Nepal. 

Distribution. — 

General: The Himalayan Mountains and west to the Hari 
Rud (River) in Afghanistan and south Russian Turkestan. 
The eastern extent of range for this species is uncertain. 

Afghanistan Records: Zimmerman (1955, p. 190), Nietham- 
mer (1965, pp. 28, 29), Gaisler et al. (1967). 

1965 Street Expedition: FMNH 103602-663, in alcohol 
103627, -28, -47, skull only 103605, -52. 

Meinertzhagen, 1937 (Doab, FMNH 48481). 1939 Cha- 
worth-Musters Expedition (Paghman). 

Third Danish Expedition, 1948-1949 (Gusalek, Pashki). 

Afghanistan Habitat: This semicommensal rat was collected 
between 600 and 2,500 m. in the evergreen oak, coniferous, 
rock, watercourse, and structure biotopes. They were numer- 
ous in the structure biotope especially around small grist mills 
made of stone and situated near a perennial source of water. 
Near Herat they were collected from holes penetrating between 
the roots of stumps and trees. 

Discussion. — 

Zimmerman (1955, p. 190) identifies specimens collected by 
Klapperich near Paghman, in Kabul, and on the southern slope of 
Salang Pass as Rattus rattus. Niethammer (1965, pp. 36, 37) com- 
ments, "The house rats . . . were identified by Zimmerman as R. 
attus without thinking of R. rattoides, as he wrote later." Alto- 
gether 47 specimens of R. rattoides, but no R. rattus, have been col- 



lected from Kabul and Paghman by the Institute of Zoology in 
Kabul (Niethammer) and the Street Expedition. 

The tail length for adults averages 103 per cent of the head and 
body length (table 12). The tail is bicolor, the ventral side being 
cream or white like the ventral pelage of this species. From two to 
ten of the mystacial vibrissae are all white. These characters dis- 
tinguish this species from the commensal Rattus rattus, found in the 
Jalalabad Vale and certain monsoonal areas. 

The dimensions and pelage of our specimens approximates those 
of the subspecies: R. r. turkestanicus Satunin, 1903, Ann. Mus. St. 
Petersb., 7, p. 588. The type locality is Assambob, Ferghana, 
Russian Turkestan, about 500 km. north of Ishkamish, Afghanistan. 

Specimens from the coniferous biotope in Monsoonal Afghanistan 
are virtually identical to those collected in the watercourse and struc- 
ture biotopes along the Hari Rud south of Herat. 

Rats of this species having a total length of less than 300 mm. are 
here classified as growing animals or subadults. Approximately 32 
percent of our July catch consisted of subadults compared with 50 
percent for August, September, and October. Two females taken 
July 18 bore seven and nine embryos; a third collected July 29 held 
three embryos. 

Nothing smaller than the Victor Holdfast rat trap should be used 
to catch this species. Two large specimens were caught in no. 13^ 
steel traps, which were baited with meat and set for carnivores. 

Rattus rattus Linnaeus House Rat or Black Rat 

Mm rattus Linnaeus, 1758, Syst. Nat., 10th ed., 1, p. 61. 

Type locality. — Sweden. 

Distribution. — 

General: Cosmopolitan, concentrated in anthropogenic habi- 

Afghanistan Records: Gaisler et al. (1967). 

1965 Street Expedition: FMNH 103664, -65 and -66. 

Fig. 23. Records and limits of distribution for Rattiis rattoiden (T') and RattUK 
rattus (B). Boundary B also circum.scribes the only region in Afghanistan where 
these species share a common distribution; herein: an arrow points to the environs 
of Gusalek where both species were collected; dotted circles denote records for 
rattoides; remaining six records are, of course, for rattus. 


Third Danish Expedition, 1948-1949 (Gusalek, Wama). 

Afghanistan Habitat: This synanthropic mammal is known 
from below 1,600 m, in the structure biotope in the Jalalabad 
Vale, Gusalek, and Wama. 

Discussion. — 

Rattus rattus from Afghanistan differ from R. rattoides in having 
monochrome tails averaging 88 per cent of total length for five adults, 
further, their ventral pelage is gray and they have no white mystacial 
vibrissae. I could find no osteological characteristics which could be 
used to separate rattus consistently from rattoides with skulls of 
similar size. 

Our Afghan driver-interpreter supplied shopkeepers in the Jalala- 
bad bazaar with traps. He obtained our only three rattus in this 

Gaisler et al. (1967) collected 54 males and 66 females (February 
to April, 1966 and 1967) in the Jalalabad Vale. 

The Afghan distribution of these rats suggests that this com- 
mensal arrived in Jalalabad from W. Pakistan. Jalalabad is the first 
major city where trucks coming from W. Pakistan stop. 

R. rattus and R. rattoides co-exist in and/or near Gusalek in the 
Pech valley. A study of population interactions and habitat prefer- 
ences in this locality might yield knowledge of importance to 
epidemiological problems in areas within the range of R. rattoides. 
For a small beginning in that direction, according to Gaisler et al. 
(1967), Paludan (in litt.) and our results, R. rattus has always been 
trapped in or near buildings and in the Jalalabad Vale and Pech 
valley, and R. rattoides is usually found away from buildings. But 
beyond these areas where the distribution of R. rattus has not been 
proven, R. rattoides replaces rattus as a habitant of buildings and 
other man-made structures. 

Traps given to shop keepers in the Ghazni and Kandahar bazaars 
were returned empty; however, five bludgeoned R. rattoides were seen 
in Ghazni. Hutton (1846, p. 140) notes: ". . . the house rat is I 
believe unknown there [Kandahar]; at least so all my informants 
agree in stating, and I certainly never saw one, although for two 
years I was in charge of extensive grain godowns [storage units], 
which would naturally have attracted them had any existed." 


Mus musculus Linnaeus House Mouse 

Mus musculus Linnaeus, 1758, Syst. Nat., 10th ed., 1, p. 62. 

Type locality. — Sweden: Upsala, 

Distribution. — 

General: Worldwide. 

Afghanistan Records: Blyth (1846. p. 140), Scully (1881, p. 
228; 1887, p. 72), Zimmerman (1955, pp. 190, 191), Nietham- 
mer (1965, p. 31), Gaisler, et al. (1967). 

1965 Street Expedition: FMNH 103060, 103667 99, 103701- 
33; in alcohol 103673, -74, -75, -77, -81. -90; skin only 103713- 
24, 103733; skull only 103676. 

NOTE: The numerous locality records for this ubiquitous spe- 
cies are not plotted on a distribution map. 

1939 Chaworth-Musters Expedition (Shibar Pass, Paghman, 
Ghazni). Third Danish Expedition, 1948-1949 (Kabul, Gusa- 
lek, Wama, Pashki, Bagrabad, Bamian). 

Afghanistan Habitat: This cosmopolitan commensal of man 
is found below 3,000 m. throughout the mountains and plains 
of the Iranian Plateau, concentrated in anthropogenic habitat. 

Discussion . — 

Mu^ musculus hactrianus was collected by Hutton and described 
by Blyth (in Hutton, 1846, p. 140) from Kandahar, Afghanistan. 
This subspecies is based upon a lectotype (B.M. lodged in 
the British Museum of Natural History. There is no record of the 
dimensions of the fresh specimen, but I was able to make the follow- 
ing measurements of the intact skull: occipitonasal length, 21.8 mm.; 
zygomatic width, 11.4; interorbital width, 3.21; palatal length, 9.9; 
and post-palatal length, 7.8. Eleven adult topotypes were collected. 
Their body measurements are entered separately in Table 12. 

Niethammer (1965) observed: "In Afghanistan, the color of the 
back varies considerably according to the humidity: light — nearly 
sand colored — animals occur in Seistan, specimens from Kabul are 
darker, and the darkest are from Nuristan." Our house mice are not 
unlike the series just described excepting that lightest — virtually 
sand colored — series was collected near Mazar-i-Sharif. Further- 
more, two specimens taken 12 km. west of the Shibar Pass were as 
dark as our darkest specimens from Nuristan. 


No consistent difference in the overall tone of the dorsal pelage, 
similar to the ones suggested by Lay (1967, p. 188) for certain Mus 
from Iran, could be found between free-living and commensal forms 
of Mus in Afghanistan. 

We had no trouble collecting large series of this rodent wherever 
we went. It was the commonest species brought into our camp by 
Afghans. Traps distributed to the villagers were usually returned 
with Mus. 

I caught them in low tree holes, along streams, among rocks and 
immediately below the coniferous biotope in Nuristan, but they were 
most numerous in the structure biotope. In some local area we found 
them in almost plague proportions. In Nuristan we took more than 
100 in fewer trap-nights in the loose rock walls supporting terraces 
sown with corn. Forty trap nights in dryer, non-cultivated hills, less 
than 100 m. away from these terraces produced but one Mus mus- 
culus. Niethammer notes, "With increasing altitude, they live in 
closer contact with man." He mentions, for example, that near 
Kabul house mice were not taken in cultivated areas far from human 
habitation. We caught at least four Mus above 2,300 m., living from 
1-4 km. from the nearest building, but our trapping records neither 
support nor refute Niethammer's observation. There is no doubt 
that house mouse populations are concentrated in the structure 
biotope, but this phenomenon is also common at the lowest eleva- 

Nesokia indica Gray and Hardwicke Bandicoot Rat 

Arvicola indica Gray and Hardwicke, 1832, Illustr. Ind. Zool., 1, pi. xi. 

Type locality. — India. 

Mus huttoni Blyth, 1846, Jour. Asiat. Soc. Bengal, 15, p. 139. 

Type locality. — Kandahar, Afghanistan. 

Distribution. — 

General: Egypt and Syria eastwards across Iraq, Iran, 
Afghanistan, and adjacent U.S.S.R. to Sinkiang, and West 
Pakistan, Rajasthan, and Punjab (modified from Ellerman and 
Morrison-Scott, 1951, p. 619). Abundant on the Iranian 

Fig. 24. Locality records and provisional (hence discontinuous) limits of 
distribution for Nesokia indica. Additional surveys (below 2,000 m.) are re- 
quired along internal watercourses. 



Afghanistan Records: Blyth (1846, p. 139), Zimmerman 
(1955, p. 191), Niethammer (1965, pp. 31, 32), and Gaisler 

et al. (1967). 

1965 Street Expedition, FMNH 103734-74, 103776-99; in 
alcohol 103742-48; skins only 103776, -79, -82; skull only 

1939 Chaworth-Musters Expedition (Kabul) ; Third Danish 
Expedition, 1948-1949 (Bagrabad). 

Afghanistan Habitat: Found below 2,000 m. elevation in the 
watercourse and structure biotopes. Although this species 
abounds on cultivated terraces and in the banks of irrigation 
ditches, we collected a single specimen from a sandy ridge in the 
Khash River Valley where there was no free water within 300 
m., nor any evidence of irrigation, and the surrounding vegeta- 
tion was characteristic of the semidesert. 

Discussion. — • 

The overall appearance of the dorsal pelage for subadults is: 
Snuff to Hair Brown; for adults from Kamdesh: Verona to Snuf 
Brown; for adults from Kandahar: Verona to Orange Cinnamon; 
for adults from Herat: Orange Cinnamon to Sayal Brown; and for 
adults from North Afghanistan: Verona to Snuff Brown. 

When the series of adults of the species of Nesokia, Tatera, 
Ellohius, and Rattus collected near or in Herat are compared each 
with series of their own species from other Afghan localities, they 
display the maximum amount of rusty orange hues in their dorsal 
pelage. Might a mineral prevalent in the soil around Herat facilitate 
the genesis of these hues? 

The ventral pelage of Afghan Nesokia is grayish or buff, some- 
times having white patches of irregular form. Adults from North 
Afghanistan show the most white, those from near Kandahar the 

Forty-seven percent of the Nesokia collected from July through 
September (sample of 37) consisted of growing animals compared 
with 22 per cent for October and November (sample 28) . 

Fig. 25. Records and limits of distribution for Dryomys nitedula. Two extra- 
limital records are from Bobrinsky et al. (1965, pi. 75), and EUerman (1948, p 777). 



Entrances to the burrow systems of this species are usually 
plugged shut. The "plug" is quite noticeable, filling a hole approxi- 
mately 60 mm. in diameter. The locations of their burrows are 
revealed by mounds of earth not unlike those of Ellohius, but the 
plug is easier to find and remove because the burrow is about twice 
as large. 

This species is a nuisance in cultivated areas where its burrowing 
habits damage irrigation works. The villagers, experts at catching 
Nesokia, rechanneled irrigation water into the burrows and clubbed 
inmates as they came out. Many subadult specimens were acquired 
by the Street Expedition in this fashion. Traps were not entirely 
satisfactory. Too many individuals were retrieved from our rat-size 
traps with broken skulls, apparently because the release of the trap 
mechanism triggered a withdrawal reaction of unusual speed in this 

Dryomys nitedula Pallas Forest Dormouse 

Mus nitedula Pallas, 1779, Nov. Spec. Quad. Glir. Ord., 88. 

Type locality. — U.S.S.R., region of Lower Volga. 

Distribution. — 

General: Southeastern Europe eastwards across Russian 
Turkestan to the Altai Mountains and southeast to the Kurram 
Valley near the southern border of Monsoonal Afghanistan, 
but in W. Pakistan. 

Afghanistan Records: Ellerman (1948, p. 777), Niethammer 
(1965, p. 28). 

1965 Street Expedition: FMNH 107800-09. 

Afghanistan Habitat: Found between 1,000 and 2,800 m. in 
the rock, watercourse, and structure biotopes. Dense, strati- 
fied vegetation seems to affect favorably the abundance of this 
semiarboreal rodent, nevertheless, both Lay (1967) and 
Niethammer (1965) record this species from rocky areas with 
scant, low vegetation. To my knowledge this dormouse has 
never been found in habitat having sparse vegetation and no 
rocks. Perhaps the absence of a suitable climbing surface, rock 
or vegetation, precludes residence by Dryomys. 

Discussion. — 

Our series, all obtained in July, from the Paghman oasis consists 
of six adults, one subadult, and three nestling with their eyes closed. 


One female collected July 18 was lactating, another taken the same 
date contained six embryos. 

The dormouse was attracted to our stock bait. Many trap- 
nights in seemingly typical dormouse habitat in localities other than 
Paghman, failed to yield additional specimens. This suggests that 
the dormouse is sparsely distributed in mountainous Afghanistan, 
but locally abundant in especially suitable habitat such as the 
Paghman oasis. This oasis combines a perennial source of water, 
dense vegetation, and rocks with a good supply of food in the form 
of fruit orchards. 

Jaculus blanfordi Murray Greater Three-toed Jerboa 

Jaculus blanfordi Murray, 1884, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., 14, p. 98. 
Type locality. — Persia: Bushehr. 

Distribution. — 

General: The eastern basin region of Iran, South, and West 
Afghanistan, and northwest Baluchistan. 

Afghanistan Records: 1965 Street Expedition: FMNH 
103810-33; in alcohol 103832, -33. 

Niethammer, (1966, in litt., near Kandahar). 

Afghanistan Habitat: Below 1,000 m. elevation in the sand, 
and clay-and-loess biotopes. Especially abundant in the 
ecotone between these biotopes. Characteristic vegetation: 
low-to-medium density, low shade, one or two strata, clumped 
distribution and low-to-high (usually high) homogeneity. 

Discussion. — 

We never caught Jaculus in traps. All of our specimens were 
collected between dusk and midnight with the help of at least three 
men, a net, shovel, and spotlight. We frequently drove more than 
50 km. in a single night hunting for specimens. Jerboas were difficult 
to distinguish from the road, therefore, if possible, we traveled over- 
land. Our hunting technique, described in the following paragraphs, 
applies for all Afghan dipodids. 

Successful jerboa hunting required terrain flat enough for 
vehicular maneuverability and possessing clumps of semidesert vege- 
tation separated by barren hard-packed clay, loess and /or sandy soil 
with or without a covering of pebbles and small stones. 

We traversed such terrain in a zig-zag fashion cruising about 15 
km. per hour. Initially we used spotlights in addition to our truck 

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headlights to search for prey, however, the headlights alone seemed 
to be just as effective, as our attention was concentrated. We 
seldom saw the slightly pink reflections of jerboa eyes before the 
whole animal was distinguished. Subsequently, we stopped or 
slowed the truck, enough to permit a man with a flashlight and net to 

Often just after its discovery a jerboa froze. We tried to keep 
it blinded in this posture with a spotlight, giving the man on foot a 
chance to approach within netting distance. With a net 400 mm. in 
diameter on the end of a meter-long handle, we caught about 30 
jerboas in this manner. If when first discovered the jerboa kept run- 
ning, or if the collector failed to net the jerboa with his initial lunge, 
both truck and collector rushed in pursuit. About 60 jerboas were 
chased over distances ranging from 25 m.-1.5 km. Roughly half of 
these pursuits ended with the jerboa getting tangled in vegetation 
long enough to be netted. 

A few long chases over rather featureless terrain ended at small, 
moundless holes, and two Jaculus so driven to earth were dug out. 
Each of these two burrows ended in a small nest about a half meter 
below the surface of the soil and 1.5 m. from the entrance. There 
were one or two short, lateral tunnels, one ascending from a point 
near the nest to terminate just below the surface of the soil, and not 
visible at the surface. If these serve as escape hatches when some 
burrowing predator starts digging into the main entrance, they were 
not so used to escape us, perhaps because we had already run the 
animal to earth. 

On dark nights in jerboa habitat we seldom returned from this 
kind of hunting with less than 10 specimens. If we collected or even 
saw as many as three animals, of any species, on a bright moonlight 
night, we were fortunate. For example, the night of September 4 
was brightly lit by a declining moon when, stimulated by the sight of 
a single Allactaga, we thoroughly but fruitlessly combed an alluvial 
plain located about 15 km. south of Balkh. After an hour we were 
ready to quit, but about this time the moon disappeared below the 
horizon, and simultaneously jerboas appeared. We collected 12 
within 45 minutes and saw at least four more. Night hunting for 
jerboas was definitely poorest when the moon was full. 

Fig. 26. Estimated limits of distribution for Jaculus blanfordi (J) and Sal- 
pingotus michaelis (S'). All records in Afghanistan are for Jaculus. An arrow 
points to an extralimital record for Salpingotus. 


The barren habitat preferred, indeed required, by these saltatorial 
rodents affords little cover and paradoxically necessitates longer 
excursions for food, hence longer exposure to predation. Our obser- 
vations suggest jerboas use darkness for cover thus avoiding bright 
moonlit nights. 

Allactaga elater Lichtenstein Small Five-toed Jerboa 

Dipus elater Lichtenstein, 1825, Abh. Akad. Wiss. Berlin, p, 155. 

Type locality. — Western Kazakstan (see Vinogradov, 1937, p. 

Subspecies reported from Afghanistan: 

Allactaga elater indica Gray 

Allactaga indica Gray, 1842, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., 10, p. 262. 
Type locality. — Afghanistan: Simkoh Hills (Lectotype: adult (?) 
B.M. no., from Kandahar). 

Distribution. — 

General: Northern Caucasus, Russian Turkestan, and the 
Iranian Plateau. 

Afghanistan Records: Gray (1842, p. 262), Hutton (1846, p. 
137), Griffith (1847, pp. 366, 370, 372), Aitchison (1889, p. 60), 
Ellerman (1948, p. 773), Niethammer (1965, p. 26), Gaisler 
etal. (1967, p. 361). 

1965 Street Expedition: FMNH 103835—892, in alcohol 
103837, -50, -57, -74, -75. 

Niethammer (1965, p. 26) reported Allactaga elater from 
the road between Girishk and Dilaram. But on the basis of 
measurements (by Niethammer, 1969, in litt.; see Table 13) 
and distribution, these specimens are herein considered to be, 
and reported as, Allactaga hotsoni. 

Afghanistan Habitat: Between 400 and 2,500 m. in the clay- 
and-loess and slope-and-plateau biotopes, with or without a 
covering of small stones. Characteristic vegetation: low-to- 
medium density, low shade, one or two strata, clumped dis- 
tribution and medium-to-high (usually high) homogeneity. 

Fig. 27. Records and possible disjunct distribution shown for Allactaga elater. 
Distribution is provisional, pending additional surveys in South and West Afghan- 
istan. Type locality (T) for A. elater indica is for lectotype, BM, from 



Most numerous in the steppes of North Afghanistan. 

Discussion. — 

Although this species is smaller than A. euphratica, and on the 
average has shorter mystacial vibrissae and a shorter tail than A. 
hotsoni, the morphology of the hind foot was found here to be the 
most reliable method of distinguishing skins of elater from those of 
hotsoni. (Note: The skulls of A. hotsoni have larger bullae.) The 
mean and extreme of distance from the end of the nail of the fifth 
toe to the most distal edge of the third toes' plantar tubercle multi- 
plied by the greatest transverse diameter of this tubercle (these 
tubercles, excluding the toe nail, are laterally compressed, therefore 
the greatest transverse diameter is a dorso- ventral measurement), 
for 14 adult elater is 63-82 (73) mm., and for five hotsoni is 106-134 
(116) mm. Although these indices are for dried skins, the fact that 
the indices for four elater and one hotsoni that we preserved in alcohol 
are respectively: 72, 77, 88, 92, and 154 mm., suggests that this dif- 
ference will be similar in fresh specimens. 

The methods used to catch these jerboas is described in the species 
account of Jaculus blanfordi. 

A single specimen was taken from the mouth of a fox. It was 
dead but its skin was unbroken. 

No sign of jerboas was seen in the Jalalabad Vale. We traversed 
at least 200 km. of typical jerboa habitat while night hunting without 
seeing a single specimen. In similar habitat where jerboas did occur, 
we should have seen perhaps 10 individuals in that much hunting. 

Allactaga hotsoni Thomas Hotson's Five-toed Jerboa 

Alladaga hotsoni Thomas, 1920, Jour. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc, 26, 4, p. 936. 
Kant, 20 miles southwest of Sib, Persian Baluchistan. 

Type locality.— Kant (=Kont 27.00 N 61.57 E): 20 miles south- 
west of Sib, 3,950 ft., Persian Baluchistan. 

Distribution. — 

General: Persian Baluchistan and South Afghanistan. Until 
the Street Expedition obtained six specimens, this species was 
known only by the type. 

Afghanistan Records: Niethammer (1965, p. 26). 

1965 Street Expedition: FMNH 103893-898, in alcohol 

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Niethammer's (1965) records from between Girishk and 
Dilaram were reported as A. elater, but measurements by 
Niethammer (1969, in litt.; see Table 13), and distribution 
provide evidence for including these specimens as hotsoni. 

Afghanistan Habitat: Collected below 1,000 m. in the clay- 
and-loess biotope. Characteristic vegetation : low-to-high (usu- 
ally low) density, low shade, one stratum, irregular (usually 
clumped) distribution, and high homogeneity. 

Discussion. — 

Thomas (1920, p. 936) describes hotsoni as: "A very long-eared 
jerboa of medium size." I was privileged to examine the type. The 
evidence from larger samples available now agrees, in part, with 
Thomas' description in that on the average hotsoni is larger than 
elater and smaller than euphratica. But the length of the ears of 
hotsoni is also intermediate. The most distinguishing character of 
hotsoni is the large size of the bullae, as Thomas points out: "Bullae 
very large, larger even than in the much larger A. williamsi [euphra- 
tica] ..." 

Between Girishk and Musa Qala one adult male A. hotsoni was 
collected with Jaculus on a large, flat, pebble desert, almost barren 
of vegetation, and at least 2.4 km. from free water. Near Kang 
hotsoni were foraging among a scattering of camel's thorn and bunch 
grass on flat, hardpan clay. There were sand dunes within 50 to 100 
m., but pursued jerboas avoided this sand. One jerboa after being 
chased for 100 m., escaped into a small hole penetrating the hard-pan 
clay. There was no vegetation or noticeable break in the natural 
relief of the land within 15 m. of this hole. 

Allactaga euphratica Thomas Euphrates Jerboa 

Allaclaga euphratica Thomas, 1881, Ann. Nat. Hist., 8, p. 15. 

Type locality. — Iraq. 

Subspecies reported from Afghanistan: 

AUactaga euphratica caprimulga EUerman 

Allaclaga williamsi caprimulga EUerman, 1948, Proc. Zool. Soc. London, 

118, p. 774. 
Type locality. — Afghanistan: Shibar Pass. 


General: Transcaucasia, Asia Minor, Syria, Jordan, northern 
Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran, and Afghanistan. 


Afghanistan Records: Ellerman (1948, p. 774), Niethammer 
1965, p. 26). 

1965 Street Expedition: FMNH 103834, -99, -04. 

Afghanistan Habitat: Found between 1,800 and 3,200 m. in 
the slope-and-plateau and structure biotopes of dry, montane 
regions, and in the ecotone between these biotopes and the 
rock biotope. Characteristic vegetation: low-to-high density, 
low shade, one stratum, irregular (mostly clumped) distribution 
and low-to-medium homogeneity. 

Taxonomic Notes and Discussion. — 

Ellerman {supra cit.) described subspecies AUactaga williamsi 
caprimulga from Afghanistan. Subsequently, Niethammer (1965, p. 
26) and Hassinger (1968, p. 75) reported new Afghan locality records 
for this species. On the basis of a recent revision by Atallah and 
Harrison (1968), these records are now referred to AUactaga euphra- 
fica caprimulga, as these authors conclude: "The conspecificity of 
AUactaga euphratica and AUactaga wiUiamsi is established on exami- 
nation of specimens from Turkey, Syria, Jordon, Kuwait, Iraq, Iran, 
and Afghanistan. A. iviUiamsi is reduced to subspecific status 
representing a large race of A. euphratica . . . and . . . A. e. caprimulga 
from the Hindu Kush (Afghanistan) is considered a perfectly valid 

Lay (1967, p. 199) in a brief comparison of the type for A. hotsoni 
and the type series of A. e. caprimulga from the Shibar Pass, suggests 
these species may turn out to be synonymous; as here established, 
hotsoni is a slightly smaller species with proportionally larger bullae 
(see table 14). Furthermore, in Afghanistan euphratica has been 
collected in the mountains above 1,800 m. (9 localities) ; while hotsoni 
has only been found in deserts below 1,000 m. (3 localities). 

Field Notes and Discussion. — 

Approximately 50 traps were placed at burrow openings between 
or under rocks which supported an unused, crumbling bridge located 

Table 14. — Skull measurements of AUactaga spp. from Afghanistan. 
(Measurements in mm.) 

43 Adult 5 Adult 6 Adult 

Character A. elater A. hotsoni A. euphratica 

Occipitonasal length 20.5-28.0 (26.1) 26.7-29.1 (27.6) 29.3-31.0 (30.1) 

Zygomatic width 18.3-21.5 (20.0) 18.6-20.5 (20.0) not taken 

Bullar width 5.5-6.3 (5.9) 6.2-7.1 (6.6) 6.1-6.6 (6.4) 

Bullar length 7.3-8.2 (7.7) 8.2-9.5 (8.8) 7.6-8.2 (7.9) 


about 32 km. WSW of Kabul and covering a small stream. Culti- 
vated wheat was growing within 10 m. of this structure. The only 
trap sprung was empty, but its victim, a male jerboa, lay nearby. 
In hot pursuit at night we netted five more between Paghman and 
Kabul, and saw another five, of which two disappeared under 
boulders and a third in a hole penetrating the base of an earthen wall. 
A. euphratica lives in higher and rougher terrain than any other 
Afghan species of jerboa, which is at least part of the reason we 
obtained only seven specimens. 

Salpingotus michaelis FitzGibbon Dwarf Jerboa 

Salpingotus michaelis FitzGibbon, 1966, Mammalia, 30, pp. 431-440. 
Type locality. — W. Pakistan: northwestern Baluchistan: Nushki, 

approximately 29°N, 66°E, 3,500 feet. 

Distribution. — 

General: Known only from the Nushki Plateau in West 

Afghanistan Records: None. 

Afghanistan Habitat: Presumably will be the sand biotope 
below 1,500 m. 

Discussion. — 

This species account is actually concerned with two species 
(Salpingotus michaelis and S. thomasi), neither of which have yet 
been proven to occur in Afghanistan. The eventual collection of S. 
michaelis there seems almost a certainty as Nushki is less than 30 km. 
from the border of South Afghanistan and there are no obvious 
physical or climatic barriers which would restrict this jerboa to W. 
Pakistan. In fact, a specimen was collected by L. P. Richards about 
half way between Nushki and the Afghan border, being found adja- 
cent to sand dunes. His specimen (AMNH 212118) is lodged in the 
American Museum of Natural History. Mr. Richards also collected 
Gerhillus cheesmani, Meriones libycus, and Jaculus blanfordi from the 
same general locality. Our expedition encountered a seemingly 
identical community in Afghanistan about 7 km. west of Spin 
Baldak (and 160 km. north of Nushki), complete with sand dunes, 
where, with the exception of Salpingotus, we collected the same 
species found north of Nushki. Jerboas other than Salpingotus 
rarely entered our traps, and our vehicular-method of night hunting 
for jerboas was not adequately adapted to the sand biotope for an 


intensive search for Salpingotus. A concentrated effort within the 
sand biotopes west of Spin Baldak and south and east of the Helmand 
river would probably have resulted in collections of S. michaelis from 

The species S. thomasi is known only from the type (B.M., a specimen originally in the East India Company's 
Museum with the label "Afghanistan, W. Griffith." Vinogradov 
(1928, p. 373) described this specimen as S. thomasi n. sp., giving its 
type locality as: "Probably Afghanistan." Later, Vinogradov (1937, 
pp. 96, 97) had second thoughts about the type locality saying: 
"... the exact locality of the third species — S. thomasi is unknown; 
according to the itinerary of Griffith's journeys, this specimen was 
acquired in southern Afghanistan or southern Tibet. Therefore, it is 
possible to surmise that the genus Salpingotus is widely distributed in 
Central Asia from the northern part of the Mongolian Altai across the 
Gobi desert, in the south it possibly reaches as far as southern Tibet 
(the locality in Afghanistan is less probable)." I have established 
(pp. 44, 45) that certain other localities on the labels of specimens 
collected by Griffith cannot be accepted at face value and recognize 
that Vinogradov's uncertainty is justified. 

Since this psammophilous genus has been found in such widely 
separate localities as Nushki in West Pakistan (Fitz-Gibbon, 1966, p. 
431), south of Lake Balkhash (Trukhachev, 1965, p. 1429), the 
Central Gobi and the northern portion of the Mongolian part of the 
Altai range (Ognev, 1948, p. 83) it seems reasonable to assume that 
either the same or additional species will be collected in other low 
(below 1,500 m.), sandy, Asian deserts. Although the relatively 
secretive species constituting this genus are rare in museum collec- 
tions, the fact that four species have already been described suggests 
that the intermittent occurrence of its typical habitat (i.e., sand) 
provides this highly specialized, saltatorial rodent with ample oppor- 
tunity to speciate. Nevertheless, now that S. michaelis is known to 
be from the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, it seems more likely that 
S. thomasi will be found to occur in a sandy desert that is separated 
from the range of S. michaelis by a strong natural barrier. Griffith 
could have collected the type of S. thomasi in any stretch of sand 
desert on his route between Baluchistan and Bhutan, but assignment 
of a type locality for it must logically now wait until specimens like 
the type specimen become known to science from some point on 
Griffith's route. 


The measurements for the types of S. thomasi and 5. michaelis 
are respectively: HB, 57.0, 41.5; TL, 105.0, 82.0; HF, 23.0, 19.0; and 
E, 9.0, 8.9. S. thomasi is a larger species and, excepting the ear, 
shows no size overlap with any of 15 specimens of michaelis. Fitz- 
Gibbon (1966, p. 437) also gives comparative skull measurements and 
those portions of the thomasi skull which are measurable are larger 
than their counterparts in michaelis. 

Hystrix indica Kerr 

Hffstris crisiata var. indica Kot, 1792, Anim. Kingdom, p. 213. Based on 
Smellie's Buffon, 1781, 7, pi. 206. 

Type locality. — India. 

Distributioti. — 

General: Ceylon, India, Arabia, across the Iranian Plateau 
to Russian Turkestan. 

Afghanistan Records: Hutton (1846, p. 136), Griffith (1847, 
p. 420), Aitchison (1889, p. 62), Ellerman (1948, p. 766), 
Dupree (1955, p. 525; 1956, pp. 29^300), Niethammer (1965, 
p. 26), Gaisler et al. (1967). 

1965 Street Expedition; FMXH 103905-08, skull only 103907, 

Third Danish Expedition, 1948-1949 (Gusalek, X. of Pashki, 
Obeh, and Bamian). Niethammer (1967, in litt., near Kabul). 
Afghanistan Habitat: Found throughout Afghanistan below 
2,600 m. in the clay-and-loess, rock, watercourse, and structure 
biotopes. The rock biotope is the typical refuge of this species. 
Quills were frequently found in caves. 

Discussion. — 

Corbet et al. (1965, p. 296) observed: ". . . of the five cranial 
characters studied that show clear differences between the North 
African H. cristata and the Indian H. indica two show no tendency 
towards an intermediate condition in the southwestern Asiatic group. 
These are the relative length of the nasals (including frontal: nasal 
ratio) ; and the height of the skull." These findings were based on five 
specimens from southwest Asia. I have examined seven additional 
specimens (Iran, 5; Afghanistan, 2) from southwest Asia. My 
studies support Corbet, but with the following exception: a specimen 
from Gorgan, Iran, was intermediate between indica and cristata in 
the relative length of the nasals and the height of the skull. Exter- 
nally the skin of this specimen was typical of indica. 


headwaters of the Helmand River near Kandahar and Girishk. 
Higher, near Ghazni, I saw but a single jackal, while higher still near 
Kabul we failed to sight Canis aureus at all. Eastward and lower in 
the Jalalabad Vale frequent observations of the jackals suggested it 
to be at least as numerous as near Kandahar. To me these observa- 
tions indicate that jackals were relatively scarce in North Afghanis- 
tan and at higher elevations farther south. 

Near Herat two packs, each containing five (possibly more) 
jackals, were seen. At night this species boldly ranged within the 
city of Herat. I saw one leap to the top of a low wall and run along 
the top of this wall for 6 m. before jumping into the "protected" 
garden on the other side. Ognev (1931, pp. 226, 227) reports on the 
omnivorous nature of the species, a characteristic causing many 
Afghan farmers to guard their crops at night by sleeping in the fields 
when crops are ripening, usually accompanied by a dog and a lantern. 
On one occasion we shot a jackal a mere 10 m. from a guard and his 
dog, awakening both. 

Jackals were harder to collect than foxes because of the situations 
they were found in. They were expert at utilizing cover such as a 
ditch or row of trees. 

Vulpes cana Blanford Blanford's Fox 

Vulpes canus Blanford, 1877, Jour. Asiat. Soc. Bengal, 46 (2), p. 321. 
Type locality. — W. Pakistan: Gwadar. 
Distribution. — 

General: The Iranian Plateau (see Lay, 1967, p. 206). 

Afghanistan Records: Blanford (1888-1891, p. 150). 

Afghanistan Habitat: Probably found below 2,000 m. in dry 
montane biotopes. There are few data on the habitat of this 
species, but distribution records from the USSR, Iran, W. 
Pakistan, and Afghanistan are from mountains and foothills (or 
never more than 50 km, from same) bordering or near lower 
plains and basins. 

Fig. 31. Records and estimated limits of distribution for Vulpes corsac (C) 
and Vulpes ruppelli (R), and records for Vulpes cana (circled, and three extralimit- 
al). Very little is known about the habits and habitat of V. cana. It's range in 
Afghanistan may roughly conform to the foothill country found along and on both 
sides of boundaries C and R. 



Douglas (a British subject), mentioned that while hunting in the 
vicinity of the Anjuman Pass in October he passed a herd of sheep 
and goats from which 55 had been killed by wolves during the night. 
Wolf skins are plentiful in the fur bazaars of Afghanistan. Our 
expedition purchased a single skin in Herat, which ostensibly came 
from the low hills north of the city. 

Canis aureus Linnaeus Jackal 

Canis aureus Linnaeus, 1758, Syst. Nat., 10th ed., 1, p. 40. 
Type locality. — Iran: Lar Province (former province presently 
located within Pars Province at about 28° N, 54° E). 

Distribution. — 

General: The Oriental Faunal Region and in the Palearctic 
Region from Russian Turkestan and the Iranian Plateau east- 
wards to Greece and southwards: to Senegal, the Sudan, 
Somaliland, Abyssinia, and Kenya in the Ethiopian Faunal 

Afghanistan Records: Hutton (1845, p. 344), Aitchison 
(1889, p. 57), Kullman (1965, p. 10), Gaisler et al. (1968, p. 

1965 Street Expedition: FMNH 103909, -20; 103912, skull 

Third Danish Expedition, 1948-1949, (sight records at Gusa- 
lek, N. of Kandahar, Bagrabad, Obeh, Bamian). 

Afghanistan Habitat: Common below 2,000 m. in the struc- 
ture, and watercourse biotopes of dry Afghanistan. This spe- 
cies ranges through other biotopes, but was never seen more 
than 2 km . from an oasis or river bottom . Traveling away from 
such habitat, the frequency with which we saw jackals de- 
creased while the probability of seeing a fox increased. 

Discussion. — 

In North Afghanistan we saw solitary jackals once each at 
Kunduz and Mazar-i-Sharif compared with at least 30 sightings near 
Herat in West Afghanistan. We also saw them frequently along the 

Fig. 30. Records for Canis lupus (circled) and Canis aureus (not circled). 
Canis lupus occurs throughout Afghanistan. Pending additional surveys, a dis- 
continuous boundary is used to show provisional limits of distribution for C. 




The following body measurements are recorded for two adult male 
Hystrix collected by the 1965 Street Expedition: HB, 638, 668; T, 72, 
120; HF, 99, 106; and E, 43, 42. 

Porcupines are common in Afghanistan. Our specimens were 
shot at night. Regarding this species, depredation on crops, Hutton 
(1846) asserts: ". . . they commit sad havoc in the grainfields and 
gardens. They are entrapped in pitfalls, and likewise shot." 

Porcupines trying to elude capture surprise one with their agility, 
and resort to climbing up instead of down in the mountains, espe- 
cially toward broken ten'ain with scattered boulders rather than more 
open country. 

Canis lupus Linnaeus Wolf 

Canis lupm Linnaeus, 1758, Syst. Nat., 10th ed., 1, p. 39. 
Type locality. — Sweden. 

Distribution. — 

General: Holarctic. Found in suitable habitat in the Palearc- 
tic Region and northern half of the Indian Faunal Subregion. 

AFGHANISTAN RECORDS: Hutton (1845, p. 345), Scully (1881, 
p. 224); (1887, p. 69), Aitchison (1889, p. 57), Kullman (1965, 
p. 9), Gaisler et al. (1968, p. 186). 

1965 Street Expedition: FMNH 103921. 

Third Danish Expedition, 1948-1949 (Pashki, Kabul). Garber 
(1963, in litt., Wakhan Region). 

Afghanistan Habitat: Ranging throughout montane Afghan- 
istan. Garber (1963) shot two above 4,000 m. in the Wakhan 
Region. Kullman (1965) remarks: "Wolves . . . are apparently 
widely distributed in Afghanistan, wherever they can withdraw 
to the hills in summer." 

Discussion. — 

Wolves are common in Afghanistan. Kullman (1965) mentions: 
"They generally appear in winter at the gates of Kabul." Dr. C. 

Fig. 29. Records for Hyslrix indica. Estimated distribution: below 2,600 m, 
throughout Afghanistan. Street Expedition records and dotted literature rec- 
ords are based on specimens. Undotted literature records and unreported records 
are based on Hyslrix quills, most of which were found in caves. 


Discussion. — 

Blanford (1881) cites the only record from Afghanistan, i.e., 
"... a skin from Kandahar sent to me by Sir 0. B. St. John." This 
record does not exclude the possibility that St. John might have pur- 
chased this skin from the Kandahar fur bazaar, but I saw no skins 
of this species in any fur bazaar, and the more substantial records of 
V. cana from the type locality and Baluchistan (Blanford, 1881, pp. 
150-151; Siddiqi, 1961, p. 140), from Iran (Lay, 1967, p. 206), and 
from near the border of North Afghanistan (Bobrinski, et al., 1965), 
leave little doubt that this species occurs in the mountains and hills 
of Afghanistan . 

Vulpes corsac Linnaeus Corsac Fox 

Canis corsac Linnaeus, 1768, Syst. Nat., 12th ed., 3, appendix, p. 223. 
Type locality. — Russian Asia: steppes between the Ural and 
Irtish Rivers. 

Distribution. — 

General: From the Volgo-Ural steppes in Southeastern Russia 
eastwards to Sinkiang and Northern Manchuria; reaching its 
southern limits of distribution in North Afghanistan. 

Afghanistan Records: Bobrinskii et al. (1965, p. 127), Kull- 
man (1965, p. 10). 

1965 Street Expedition, FMNH 103923, -24. 

Afghanistan Habitat: Below 2,000 m. in the dry steppes of 
North Afghanistan. 

Discussion. — 

According to Kullman (1965): "The corsac . . . lives in lower 
parts in the dry country around Maimana, and skins are often made 
into beautiful covers in the Kabul Bazaar." Our specimens, which 
purportedly were collected in North Afghanistan, were purchased in 
Kabul. I a^so inspected two blankets made of corsac fox skins, tails 
included. I counted sixty tails in one of these, which suggests that 
this species is not rare in Afghanistan, but the possibility that any 
or all of these skins are imported from the USSR should not be 

Vulpes ruppelli Schinz Sand Fox 

Canis ruppellii Schinz, 1825, Cuvier's Thierreich, 4, p. 508. 
Type locality. — Sudan: Dongola. 


Distribution. — 

General: Northern Africa and the Iranian Plateau. 

Afghanistan Records: Aitchison (1889, p. 58). 

Afghanistan Habitat: A single specimen was collected by 
Aitchison, Nov. 3, 1884, on the Dasht-i-Barang between 
Kushk-rud (451 m.) and Kin (463 m.) in predominately semi- 
desert habitat with a clay-and-loess substrate. 

Discussion. — 

Aitchison (1889, p. 58) lists Vulpes famelica, Ruppell, from 
Afghanistan. Ellerman and Morrison-Scott (1951, p. 231) consider 
this as belonging to the subspecies: Vulpes ruppelli zarudnyi Birula, 
1912. Aitchison gives no measurements for this specimen. I could 
find no skins of this species in the fur bazaars that I visited in 

Vulpes vulpes Linnaeus Red Fox 

Cams vulpes Linnaeus, 1758, Syst. Nat., 10th ed., 1, p. 40. 
Type locality. — Sweden. 
Subspecies recorded for Afghanistan : 

Vulpes vulpes griffithi BIyth. 

Vulpes griffithi Blyth, 1854, Jour. Asiat. Soc. Bengal, 23, p. 730. 

Type locality. — Afghanistan: Kandahar. 

Distribution. — 

General: Holarctic, north of the Sahara in Africa, and north- 
west India and the Himalayas. 

Afghanistan Records: Hutton (1845, pp. 344, 345), Scully 
(1881, pp. 225, 226; 1887, pp. 69, 70), Aitchison (1889, p. 57), 
Kullman (1965, p. 10), Niethammer (1967), Gaisler et al. 
(1968, p. 186). 

1965 Street Expedition, FMNH 103925 961, skull only 
103930, -42, skin only 103932, -50. 

Third Danish Expedition, 1948-1949 (Gusalek, Wama, Pash- 
ki, Jurm, Bamian). 

Afghanistan Habitat: Common in every biotope below 3,000 
m. We collected V. vulpes from steppes, semideserts, oases, and 
boulder covered mountains, but seldom saw them in habitat 
with vegetation having a high density, high shade, and three 
strata. In this respect they contrast with Canis aureus. 

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Discussion. — 

The following names have been applied to Vulpes vnlpes from 
Afghanistan: Vulpes [flavescens, Gray], Hutton (1845); V. montana 
and V. griffithi, Scully (1881, 1887); V. persica, Aitchison (1889); 
and V. leucopus, Sclater (1891, p. 227) . For the suggestion that these 
specimens represent Vulpes vulpes griffithi Blyth (1854, Jour.Asiat. 
Soc. Bengal, 23, p. 270) which was described from Kandahar, see 
Pocock (1941, pp. 121-123), and Ellerman and Morrison-Scott 
(1951, p. 227). 

The variation in size and pelage color within our series of 35 
specimens is quite extensive. Interestingly, our 35 adult (or large 
subadult) foxes from Afghanistan are on the average (see table 15) 
92 mm. shorter than the V. vulpes from the USSR, which Novikov 
(1956, p. 57) distinguishes as: "Length of body 650 mm. or more." 

Evidence indicates Vulpes vulpes is the most abundant wild 
carnivore in Afghanistan. Every furrier had at least one large robe 
made out of V. vulpes skins, consisting of from 20 to 40 matched 
pelts. Our expedition purchased eight such blankets. Foxes were 
equally abundant in the mountains or on the steppes. We saw as 
many as ten foxes in one night. Niethammer (1967) observes: "We 
set a record in September, 1966 as we saw 25 foxes in less than one 
hour while driving through the steppe near Ab-e-Istada after sunset." 

We collected foxes at night with shotguns and lights. According 
to our observations of the stomach contents of fox specimens, 
jerboas are a common item in the diet of these foxes, and, like jerboas, 
the foxes were rarely seen on bright moonlit nights. We frequently 
chased foxes if the terrain was suitable. In one such chase the fox 
ran more than 3 km. with bursts of speed in excess of 30 mph (48 
km. per hour) before escaping across a precipitous gully. 

Selenarctos thibetanus G. Cuvier Atlantic Black Bear 

Ursus thibetanus G. Cuvier, 1823, Ossements Foss., 4, p. 325. 
Type locality. — Assam: Sylhet, 

Distribution. — 

General: Southeast Asia, Manchuria to Indo-China, and west- 
ward along the Himalayas and the edge of the Iranian Plateau 
reaching its westernmost limits of distribution, according to 
Lay (1967, p. 234), in the southeastern part of Kerman 
Province in Iran. 


Afghanistan Records: Povolny (1966, pp. 305-316). 
Third Danish Expedition, 1948-1949 (Gusalek, Wama, Pashki) . 
General references to Afghan bears (sp.?): Elphinstone 
(1842), Irwin (1839), Griffith (1847, p. 405), Raverty (1859), 
and Aitchison (1889, p. 58). With the exception of Griffith, 
these authors allude to two kinds (colors) of bears, a black one 
{Selenarctos ?) and a red, brown, or yellowish one {Ursus ?). 

Afghanistan Habitat: Above 1,500 m. in forests and sub- 
alpine meadows. 

Aitchison's (1889) note, "At Bala-Morghab several persons 
who lived between that and Maimana told me that in the hills 
between these two places are to be got two kinds of bears, one 
red (called locally "Khirsa") and one black (called "Kull")," 
suggests that a bear may be occasionally found in the more 
open woodlands on the northern slopes of the Hindu Kush 
and Parapamisus mountains, but lack of more recent evidence 
fails to support such a distribution. 
Discussion. — 

Povolny (1966) provides a detailed account of the status of S. 
thibetanus in Afghanistan, He reports on a specimen (skeleton de- 
posited in the Institute of Vertebrate Zoology, C.A.S. in Brno, 
Czechoslovakia, and mounted skin on display in the Moravian 
Museum in Brno) from: ". . . about 8 to 10 km. NE of the provincial 
town of Laghman lying on the border of southwestern Nuristan," 
and on a cub from near Gulbahar, a small town situated on a plateau 
18 km. north of Charikar. This latter individual was interned alive 
at the Institute of Zoology and Parasitology in Kabul. Povolny 
shows that previous reports of Selenarctos from Afghanistan were, in 
fact, baseless, having their origin in a general statement on distribu- 
tion made by Blanford (1888, p. 197), and repeated by: Ellerman 
and Morrison-Scott (1951, p. 239), Ognev (1931, p. 119), and 
Bobrinskii et al. (1965, p. 130). Povolny notes that none of these 
authors could offer a single documented occurrence or point to one in 
the literature to justify their inclusion of this species in the fauna of 
Afghanistan. He further reports that neither he nor Dr. Kullman 
could find skins of Selenarctos in the large skin bazaar in Kabul, and 
that the German and American expeditions did not succeed in 
obtaining any information whatsoever on the existence of S. thibe- 
tanus. Povolny contends that the occurrences he reports are the 


first for S. thibetanus to be known from Afghanistan. He is correct 
just that far. However, Paludan, collecting for the Third Danish 
Expedition to Central Asia, was the first to obtain specimens — two 
skins of Selenarctos in Afghanistan. These skins were purchased in 
1948 at Wama and Pashki, and are preserved in the University 
Museum at Copenhagen where I examined them in 1966. They have 
typically black pelage with a white spot on the thorax. In addition 
to these specimens, Paludan recorded the following on Feb. 29, 1948, 
at Gusalek: "A man was seen this afternoon with a small but un- 
tamed juvenile Selenarctos. The species is said to be very common 

Ursus arctos Linnaeus Brown Bear 

Ursus arctos Linnaeus, 1758, Syst. Nat., 10th ed., 1, p. 47. 

Type locality. — Sweden. 

Distribution. — 

General: Europe, USSR, Japan, China, the Himalayas, parts 
of the Iranian Plateau, Asia Minor, and the northern part of 
the Arabian Peninsula. Found in the Punjab, but not south in 
peninsular India. 

Afghanistan Records: General references to brown bears or 
Ursus: Elphinstone (1842), Irwin (1839), Griffith (1847, p. 
405), Raverty (1859), Aitchison (1889, p. 58), Kullman (1965, 
p. 13), and Povolny (1966, p. 309). 

Third Danish Expedition, 1948-1949 (Wama). 

Afghanistan Habitat: Usually above 1,500 m. in forests, 
subalpine and alpine meadows. The generally lower and 
sparsely vegetated habitat west of the distributions illustrated 
in Figure 33 probably precludes permanent habitation by bears, 
although as noted for Selenarctos a bear may be occasionally 
found on the northern slopes of the Hindu Kush and Para- 
pamisus mountains. 

Fig. 33. Records and estimated limits of current distribution for Selenarctos 
thibetanus (S) and Ursus arctos fU). Records for Ursus (one extralimital) are 
circled except for Wama (W) where skins, one each, of Selenarctos and Ursus were 
purchased. Question marks denote Provinces of alleged occvirrence of Ursus {fide 
Kullman, 1965). Although Griffith (1847) and Aitchison (1889) report bears 
(sp.?) from regions G and A respectively, the lack of more recent evidence sug- 
gests bears no longer frequent these areas. 



Discussion. — 

As noted above and illustrated in Figure 33, only a single record 
for Ursus can be referred to an Afghan locality more specific than 
Nuristan or Paktia (Elphinstone, 1815; Irwin, 1839; Raverty, 1859; 
and Kullman, 1965), the environs of Bamian (Griffith, 1847), or the 
hills between Bala Morghab and Maimana (Aitchison, 1889). Of 
these authors only Kullman specifies Ursus, alleging: "... the bear 
(Ursus arctos . . .), lives in the forest regions of Afghanistan (Nuristan 
and Paktia). It is a predator but eats mainly vegetable food, e.g., it 
climbs mulberry trees in summer in Nuristan and eats the mulber- 

Two additional records corroborate the existence of Ursus in 
Afghanistan: Ognev (1935, pp. 628, 629) describes a specimen of 
Ursus pamireyisis {= U. arctos isabellinus, fide Ellerman and Morri- 
son-Scott, 1951, p. 237) from "... some 15 to 20 km. from the frontier 
post of Kala-i-Khumba on the Pyrandzh River near the Afghanistan 
boundary (elev. 3,000 m.)." This extralimital, but important record 
is illustrated in Figure 33. Povolny (1966) observes: "Of the less 
frequent carnivores, we saw there [Kabul bazaar], a single skin of 
. . . the brown bear, Ursus arctos ..." 

I examined the skin which was purchased at Wama by members 
of the Third Danish Expedition. It fits the description of Ursus 
arctos isabellinus as given by Pocock (1941, p. 174), thus substan- 
tiating his inclusion of Afghanistan in the distribution of this sub- 

The relative habitat requirements of Ursus and Selenarctos in 
Afghanistan remains unknown. A critical appraisal is needed of the 
ecology and variation of these species in Afghanistan and Kashmir, 
especially with respect to the rather nebulous allegations of a brown 
color phase for Selenarctos, see Pocock (1941, p. 203). 

Mustela erminea Linnaeus Ermine 

Mustela erminea Linnaeus, 1758, Syst. Nat., 10th ed., 1, p. 46. 

Type locality. — Sweden. 
Distribution. — 

Fig. 34. Records (circled and extralimital for M. erminea) and provisional 
limits of distribution for Mustela erminea (E) and Mustela nivalis (N). Unpub- 
lished record for nivalis (see text, p. 133) is based on a sighting of two weasels. 



General: Holarctic. The mountains of Kashmir, W. Pakistan 
and Afghanistan demarcate the southern limits of this species' 
Asian distribution. 

Afghanistan Records: See Discussion. 

Afghanistan Habitat: Biotopes of wet habitat, as outHned 
by Hassinger (1968, pp. 52-54). 

Discussion. — 

Griffith (1847, p. 443), travehng in eastern Afghanistan notes: 
"I observed, and shot a weasel, or a mungoose today. It was eating 
carrion." Horsfield (1851, p. 104) in his Catalogue of the Mammals in 
the Museum of the Hon. East India Co., lists Mustela erminea, with 
Griffith as collector. Subsequently Blanford (1888-1891, p. 166) 
states: "A specimen [of M. erminea] was obtained in Afghanistan by 
Griffith . . ." Ognev (1935, p. 36) without having looked at the speci- 
men, reports this same record. Curiously, Barrett-Hamilton's (1900, 
pp. 48, 49) description of Putorius (= Mustela) nivalis pallidus, n. 
subsp., is based on two specimens: the type from Russia and (BMNH an ". . . unsexed skin from Afghanistan, from the 
Indian Museum collection." I have had the privilege of examining 
this paratype. It was collected by Griffith and is apparently the 
same specimen that Horsfield, Blanford, and Ognev (supra cit.) list 
as M. erminea. If this is indeed the case, then the single record of M. 
erminea from Afghanistan becomes instead one for M. nivalis pal- 
lidus. Although Ellerman and Morrison-Scott (1951, p. 258) recog- 
nize the subspecies M. nivalis pallida, they do not include Afghan- 
istan, in its distribution. 

Irrespective of the above record, M. erminea undoubtedly in- 
habits the mountains of monsoonal Afghanistan as Pocock (1941, p. 
349) lists M. erminea ferghanae from Parrachinar (see fig. 34) in the 
Kurram Valley, W. Pakistan. Parrachinar is less than 20 km. in any 
of three directions (north, south or west) from the eastern border of 
Afghanistan. Also, Bobrinskii et al. (1965) show the southern limit of 
distribution for M. erminea in U.S.S.R. to be the border of the 

Mustela nivalis Linnaeus Weasel 

Mustela nivalis Linnaeus, 1766, Syst. Nat., 12th ed., 1, p. 69. 

Type locality. — Sweden: Vesterbotten Province. 


Distribution. — 

General: Holarctic reaching the southern limits of its south- 
west Eurasian distribution in Algeria, Egypt, Iran, and 

Afghanistan Records: Barrett-Hamilton (1900, pp. 48, 49), 
Ellerman and Morrison-Scott (1951, p. 257), Kullman (1965, 
p. 12). 

Third Danish Expedition, 1948 1949 (Weran Valley). 
Afghanistan Habitat: Above 2,000 m. in montane biotopes. 
Discussion . — 

Barrett-Hamilton's identification of a weasel collected by Griffith 
in Afghanistan as M. nivalis pcUlidus should be viewed critically (see 
account of M. erminea, here). Within the same volume that Barrett- 
Hamilton describes this subspecies Lonnberg (1900, p. 436) shows 
that at least part of Barrett-Hamilton's subspecific determinations 
(with respect to weasels) are merely based on individual variation. 

Paludan (Third Danish Expedition field notes of July 20, 1948) 
saw "Among the boulders near a small lake, 3,000 m., in the Weran 
Valley a stoat: rather small, yellowish-brown, tail rather short, 
apparently black terminally. On July 21st one of the same species was 
spotted in a nearby side valley (about 3,900 m) and only a few meters 
away; it appeared to be no larger than a weasel." This weasel could 
be either nivalis or erminea but is included here on the chance that 
small size and short tail may outweigh the blackish tip to the tail 
when more is known about color differences between the two species 
in Afghanistan. 

Inclusion by Ellerman and Morrison-Scott (1951) of Afghanistan 
within the range of M. nivalis is based on two specimens, one of 
which was obtained 72 km. N. W. of Kabul, the other from the 
Shibar Pass by Chaworth-Musters. 

According to Kullman (1965): ". . . report of this species [M. 
nivalis] from Afghanistan was made by Dr. Niethammer, who found 
its skull in the pellet of a bird of prey near Paghman (altitude 2,600 

Our expedition did not obtain any weasels nor could I find a pelt 
in any fur bazaar. 

Vormela peregusna Guldenstaedt Marbled Polecat 

Mtistela peregusna Guldenstaedt, 1770, Nov. Comm. Acad, Sci. Imp. Petrop., 
14(1), p 441. 



Type locality. — Southern USSR: Banks of the river Don. 

Putorius (=Mustela) sarmaiica Pallas, 1771, Reise Prov. Russ. Reichs, 1, 
p. 453. Along the Volga River, Southern Russia. 

Distribution. — 

General: Rumania and east across the N. Arabian peninsula 
and Iranian Plateau to Mongolia. 

Afghanistan Records: Hutton (1845, pp. 346-350), Scully 
(1881, p. 227), Aitchison (1889, p. 58), Sclater (1891, p. 278), 
Akhtar (1945, p. 412), Kullman (1965, p. 12), Gaisler et al. 
(1968, p. 186). 

Meinertzhagen (1937, FMNH 48482: Danaghori, N. 
Afghanistan) . 

1965 Street Expedition: FMNH 103964. 

Afghanistan Habitat: Below 2,000 m. in montane, and steppe 
and semidesert biotopes, especially in the environs of the struc- 
ture biotope. 

Abundant (at least periodically) around Kandahar (Hutton, 
1845), and rare near Kabul (Akhtar, 1945). 

Discussion. — 

Both Hutton (1845) and Akhtar (1945) give interesting accounts 
of the behavior of captive Vormela. 

A freshly killed male measuring: HB, 330; T, 182; HP, 48; and 
E, 29, was purchased from a farmer near Kandahar. Skins of 
Vormela were not seen in any fur bazaars nor did we observe any 
while night hunting. 

Martes foina Erxleben Stone Marten 

Mustela foina Erxleben, 1777, Syst. Regn. Anim., I, p. 458. 
Type locality. — Germany. 

General: Central and southern Europe, mountains of Russian 
Turkestan, Northern Arabian peninsula (Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, 
Israel), the Iranian Plateau and east through Kashmir, 
Sinkiang, Mongolia, Manchuria, and Tibet. 

Afghanistan Records: Hutton (1845, p. 350), Sclater (1891, 
p. 275), Pocock (1941, p. 325), Dupree (1958, p. 288), Kullman 
(1965, p. 12). 


1965 street Expedition: FMNH 103962. 
Third Danish Expedition, 1948-1949 (Wama). 

Afghanistan Habitat: The mountains and foothills above 
800 m. Novikov (1956, p. 196) remarks: "In its southern range 
it usually inhabits mountain ravines and canyons, unforested or 
bush-covered slopes of mountains, reaching a height of 4,000 
m." We saw a stone marten on Shibar Pass, but failed to col- 
lect it. It was seen about 10 :00 pm in the watercourse /clay and 
loess biotope illustrated in Hassinger (1968, fig. 9). Possibly it 
was attracted by the numerous rodents which are here reported 
occupying this seepage. 

Discussion. — 

According to Kullman (1965) : "Skins are frequently found in the 
Bazaar; also said to come from Badakhshan." We purchased a 
'stuffed' specimen in Badakhshan. Niethammer (1967) observes 
that stone marten skins were fourth in order of abundance (after 
Lutra lutra, Vulpes vulpes, and V. corsac for which no order was 
specified) in the Kabul fur bazaar. 

Martes flavigula Boddaert Yellow-throated Marten 

Martes flavigula Boddaert, 1785, Elench. Anim., 88. 

Type locality. — Restricted to Nepal by Pocock (1941, p. 331). 

Distribution. — 

General: Eastern Siberia and in southeast Asia from the 
Indochinese Subregion westwards along the Himalayas to east 

Afghanistan Records: 1965 Street Expedition: FMNH 


Third Danish Expedition, 1948-1949 (Gusalek, Wama, and 


Afghanistan Habitat: The forests of Monsoonal Areas and 
Nuristan; possibly river copses in southern Badakhshan. 

On May 18, 1948, Paludan (Third Danish Expedition) saw 
a M. flavigula (?) — throat yellow, hind parts of back light 

Fig. 36. Records and estimated limits of distribution for Martes foina (S) 
and Martes flavigula (Y). Records for foina are circled except for Wama (W) 
where skins, one each, of foina and flavigula were purchased. A P-? denotes 
alleged Province of origin (see text, p. 138) for a. flavigula skin purchased in Kabul. 



colored, rather yellowish — in the cedar forest (2,300-3,000 m.) 
near Pashki. It was on the ground, and it fled along the 
ground. Pocock (1941, p. 336) notes, ". . . it is usually found in 
well wooded districts, but it is said to be fairly common in the 
deserts of the Northwestern Frontier Provinces [now W. 

Discussion. — 

Our expedition purchased a single skin in Kabul that was osten- 
sibly collected in Badakhshan, thus representing a northwestern 
range extension for this species. This record must be viewed criti- 
cally, as Badakhshan, compared with Monsoonal Areas and Nuris- 
tan, is virtually treeless. It is, however, noted that Pashki, where 
Paludan saw a yellow- throated marten, is only about 30 km. from 
the southern boundary of the Badakshan Natural Area. 

Paludan purchased skins at Gusalek and Wama. He noted (at 
Gusalek, March 22, 1948) : "More . . . [M. flavigula] skins were offered 
to us, so it must be rather common here." There seems to be little 
reason for doubting the validity of Paludan's observation, as skins 
imported from Kashmir or W. Pakistan (the heretofore western 
limits of distribution for flavigula, fide Ellerman and Morrison-Scott, 
1951, p. 249) would hardly be transported to the more remote villages 
of Gusalek and Wama, when Kabul (the site of the largest fur 
bazaars) is more accessible and unquestionably the best place to 
sell pelts. 

These records from Afghanistan represent the western limits of 
distribution for this species. 

Mellivora capensis Honey Badger 

Viverra capensis Schreber, 1776, Saugeth. pi. 125, also 1777, 3, pp. 450, 588. 

Type locality. — Africa: Cape of Good Hope. 

Distribution. — 

General: Africa, southwestern Asia north to southern Turk- 
men, S.S.R., east to Bengal, south to Cutch and Madras. 

Afghanistan Records: Bobrinskii et al. (1965, p. 147). 

Afghanistan Habitat: According to Novikov (1956, p. 210), 
the honey badger (or ratel) is found (in adjacent Turkmen) 
chiefly in mountains, more rarely among sand dunes, foothills, 
and river valleys. 


Discussion. — 

Although there are no reported collections of this species from 
Afghanistan, Bobrinskii et al. (1965) and Novikov (1956) include 
Afghanistan in its range. Sapozhenkov et al. (1963, p. 961) in 
describing the distribution of this species in Russian Turkestan, re- 
veals that three of the distribution records are in river valleys (Hari 
Rud, Murghab, Amu Darya) which have their beginning in Afghanis- 
tan. There is one specimen in the British Museum of Natural 
History (fide Siddiqi, 1961, p. 149) from the North West Frontier 
Province in W. Pakistan. 

From what the above distribution records reveal about its 
habitats, we can infer this species exists in Afghanistan, although 
the lack of coiToborative evidence to support this inference suggests 
it is extremely rare. 

Meles meles Linnaeus Badger 

Ursus meles Linnaeus, 1758, Syst. Nat., 10th ed., 1, p. 48. 
Type locality. — Sweden: Upsala. 

Distribution. — 

General: Palearctic Region but absent from North Africa, 
and present in Southern China. 

Afghanistan Records: KuUman (1965, p. 12), Niethammer 

Afghanistan Habitat: Unknown. According to Novikov 
(1956, p. 213) it lives in forests, steppes, and semideserts and 
ascends high into the mountains, e.g., in Tian Shan from 
2,500 to 3,000 m. 

Discussion. — 

Kullman (1965) reports: "According to their distribution in 
Persia, the honey badger (Mellivora capensis) and the common 
badger {Meles meles) probably occur in the vicinity of Maimana, but 
no reliable records exist. I found a skin of Meles meles in the bazaar 
in Kabul, but its exact origin could not be ascertained." Nietham- 
mer (1967) remarks, "Once we were shown a pelt of Meles meles said 
to have come from Badakhshan." 

Except for 16 peripheral records in Iran (Lay, 1967, pp. 210, 235) 
and one in W. Pakistan (Siddiqi, 1961, p. 149), I know of no collec- 
tions of either Meles or Mellivora from the Iranian Plateau proper; 
thus, for Afghanistan, the range of these species may be restricted to 

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t- 7 



t = t 





the North and Northwest, i.e., those natural regions which form the 
rim of the Plateau. But, according to distribution, as illustrated by 
Bobrinskii et al. (1965), Meles meles can be found along Afghanistan's 
entire northern border. 

Lutra lutra Linnaeus Otter 

Miistela lutra Linnaeus, 1758, Syst. Nat., 10th ed., 1, p. 45. 
Type locality.— Svieden: Upsala. 
Distribution. — 

General: Palearctic region and the Indo-Malayan region to 

Afghanistan Records: ConoUy (1840, p. 723), Hutton (1845. 
p. 351), Murray (1887, p. 119), Kullman (1965, p. 12), Niet- 
hammer (1967), Gaisler et al. (1968, p. 186). 

1965 Street Expedition: FMNH 103965, -66. 

Third Danish Expedition, 1948-1949 (Gusalek). 

Afghanistan Habitat: Below 2,500 m. along perennial 
streams and rivers. Characteristic vegetation: notably high 
density and low homogeneity. 

Discussion. — 

According to Hutton (1845) Lutra monticola (= Lutra lutra 
monticola) is common along the Helmand and Arghandab Rivers. 
Murray (1887) purchased two skins of this species which: ". . . were 
said to have been got from the Helmand and Argandab rivers." 

Kullman remarks: "... skins are frequently found in the bazaar* 
stated to have been obtained in Badakhshan. I observed a pair of 
otters wandering over a hillside near a river in Nuristan in the 
winter of 1963/64 . . ." Paludan (Third Danish Expedition) pur- 
chased a skin at Gusalek in Nuristan. The Street Expedition was 
given a skin which was purchased on the Anjuman Pass. A second 
skin was purchased at Herat. The furrier said it came from the 
vicinity of Juwain in the Sistan. 

Fig. 37. Adjacent, extralimital records for Mellivora (■) and range for Meles 
I I I I I (After Bobrinsky et al., 1965; Siddiqi, 1961). Lay (1967) gives no 
records or range for badgers in eastern Iran. In Afghanistan: conjectural limits 
of distribution for badgers (B); and records and estimated limits of distribution 
along rivers for LvXra liUra. 


Niethammer (1967) observes, "... going through the fur shops 
[in Kabul] one may see from 20 to 40 otter skins . . . pelts are obtained 
regularly from Maiden-Tal valley, which lies west of Kabul. Fish 
are abundant in this clear water stream ..." 

Herpestes auropunctatus Hodgson Small Indian Mongoose 

Mangusta auropunctatus Hodgson, 1836, Jour. Proc. Asiat. Soc. Bengal, 5, 

p. 235. 
Mangustn pallipes Blyth, 1845, J. Asiat. Soc. Bengal, 14, p. 346. Kandahar, 
Afghanistan. {Herpestes auropunctatus pallipes fide Ellerman and Morrison- 
Scott, 1951, p. 295). 

Type localities. — Nepal for auropunctatus, Kandahar for pallipes. 
Distribution. — 

General: Iranian Plateau and Iraq eastward to Hainan, 
south to Gujerat and Orissa (in India) and the Malay States. 

Afghanistan Records: Blyth (in Hutton 1845, p. 346), 
Pocock (1941, p. 31), Kullman (1965, p. 12), Gaisler (1968, p. 

1965 Street Expedition: FMNH 103967 to 103988; skin only 
103971, -77, -78, -88. 

Third Danish Expedition, 1948-49 (Farah). 

Afghanistan Habitat: Below 1,500 m. in the watercourse and 
structure biotopes. Characteristic vegetation: high density, 
low to high shade, two or three strata, irregular distribution and 
low homogeneity. 

As shown in Figure 38, the Kandahar oasis supports a large 
number of H. auropunctatus. 

Discussion. — 

A specimen we collected in the oasis of Herat represents the 
northernmost occurrence of this species. Specimens have not been 
collected north of the Himalayas. The Kandahar oasis appear to be 
optimal habitat for the Small Indian Mongoose, as we obtained 20 
topotypes of H. auropunctatus pallipes with little effort. This species 
is diurnal and quite bold. When the villagers were informed of our 
wants, they easily supplied us with 20 fresh specimens. 

Average and extreme body measurements for 20 topotypes of 
H. a. pallipes: HB, 244-341 (281) ; T, 175-280 (252) ; HF, 45-57 (51) ; 
E, 19-24 (21). 










Herpestes edwardsi Geoffroy Gray Indian Mongoose 

Ichneumon edwardsii E. Geoffroy, 1818, Descr. Egypte, 2, p. 139. 
Type locality. — "East Indies." 

Distribution. — 

General: Persian Gulf coast of Arabia, Iran, Baluchistan, and 
the Indian Faunal Sub-region to Assam and Ceylon. 

Afghanistan Records: Blanford (1888-1891, p. 124), Pocock 
(1941, p. 8) . These two authors include Afghanistan in the gen- 
eral distribution of this species, but cite no specific occurrences 
to support their claims. There are no known scientific collec- 
tions of this species from Afghanistan. 

Discussion. — 

According to Kullman (1965, p. 12): "The Afghan mongoose 
belong to two species: Herpestes auropunctatus and Herpestes ed- 
wardsi . . .," but he concedes: "We have not yet found the latter 
species." Pocock (1941, pp. 14, 15) reports on skins from between 
Peshawar and Kashmir, and from Baluchistan, localities which are 
respectively east and south of Afghanistan. Lay (1967) concludes: 
"H. edwardsi seems to occur in the portion of Iran south of a line 
drawn from northern Khuzistan (ca. Dizful) to the city of Kerman 
then to the city of Zahedan." If we extrapolate, continuing this line 
to the east, it will run through Baluchistan and not Afghanistan. 
These data show the distribution of edwardsi to have northern and 
western limits which appear to approximate the southern and eastern 
edge of the Iranian Plateau. Probably this species will be found to 
have a limited distribution in Monsoonal Afghanistan and perhaps 
in the Jalalabad Vale, Nuristan and East Afghanistan. 

Hyaena hyaena Striped Hyaena 

Canis hyaena Linnaeus, 1758, Syst. Nat., 10th ed., 1, p. 40. 

Type locality. — Southern Persia: Laristan: Benna Mountains. 


General: Northern Africa, Southwestern Asia as far north as 
Southern Russian Turkestan, and east to Nepal and peninsular 

Afghanistan Records: Conolly (1840, p. 723), Hutton (1845, 
p. 345), Kullman (1965, pp. 10, 11), Gaisler et al. (1968, p. 187). 

1965 Street Expedition: FMNH 103989-992, skin only 
103989, complete skeleton 103990. 

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Afghanistan Habitat: Below 1,500 m. in biotopes of steppes 
and semideserts, and stony foothills. Twenty-five km. north- 
west of Kandahar hyaenas den in small caves in a low, rock 
covered, east-facing hill. 

Discussion. — 

Kullman (1965) gives an interesting account of the hyaena in 
Afghanistan. He remarks hyaena hunters have the courage to enter 
their dark caves and overpower them there. Mr. and Mrs. Street 
hired several such hunters, and going to the cave mouth with them, 
obtained a specimen in this manner. According to the hunters, about 
25 hyaenas a year are taken in this manner. Hyaenas are omni- 
vorous. Although they are noted carrion-feeders, Kullman shows 
that they also feed on large tortoises {Testudo horsfieldi) near Kan- 
dahar, even in the winter when the torpid tortoises have to be dug 
out of their hibernal burrows. 

In October four of us saw a large hyaena 9 km. east of Herat, but 
although initially within 30 m. we were unable to collect it. This 
observation is the first record of a hyaena this far north in Afghanis- 
tan, although we purchased a skin in Herat which was said to have 
come from near Qala Nau (see fig. 39), a town about 150 m. NW of 
Herat. As illustrated, they probably occur sporadically across North 

Body measurements for three hyenas are respectively: HB, 1256, 
1310, 1340; T, 280, 290, 295; HF, 201, 200, 210; E. 152, 155, 160. 

Felis catus Linnaeus Domestic, Feral or Wild Cat 

Felis catus Linnaeus, 1758, Syst. Nat., 10th ed., 1, p. 41. 

Felis silvestris Schreber, 1777, Saugeth. 3, p. 397. 

Felis lybica [sic] Forster, 1780, in Buffon's Nat. Vierf. Thierre, 6, p. 313. 

Felis huttoni Blyth, 1846, Jour. Asiat. Soc. Beng., 15, p. 169. 

Type locality. — Sweden. 

Distribution. — 

General: Cosmopolitan as a synanthrope. 

Afghanistan Records: Hutton (1845, p. 342; 1846, p. 169), 
Aitchison (1889, p. 57), Gaisler et al. (1968, p. 187). 

1965 Street Expedition: FMNH 104005, -006; skull only 

Afghanistan Habitat: Montane, steppe, and semidesert 


Discussion. — 

For reasons outlined by Lay (1967, p. 215) Felis libyca and F. 
silvestris are here considered to be synonyms of F. catus Linnaeus, 1758. 

Hutton (1845, p. 343) reports on: "Felis ? A spotted 

skin of small Lynx . . . from the Huzarrah hiUs," and "Felis catus," a 
domestic cat: "... running into all sorts of varieties as to colour . . ., 
although the most general is a dark grey with black spots and 
stripes." In an addenda to Button's paper, Blyth (1846, p. 169) 

suggests Mutton's Felis ? represents a new species: F. huttoni 

nobis. Subsequent authors, including Pocock (1951, p. 6), consider 
F. huttoni to be a synonym of F. catus. Aitchison (1889) lists F. 
caudata from Bala Morghab. The taxonomic history of this speci- 
men, some of it incidental to general revisions of Felis, is interesting. 
This specimen is represented by a skin (BMNH and no 
skull. Thomas (in Aitchison, 1889) named it F. caudata. A second 
tag, attached by the British Museum, has F. ocreata caudata, but 
with ocreata crossed off and constantina substituted. Pocock (1939, 
p. 290) considers this specimen to be F. constantina caudata, but later 
(1951, p. 128) he renames it Felis libyca caudata. Ognev (1935, pp. 
132, 133) calls it Felis ornata caudata while Novikov (156, p. 242) 
includes it as Felis (Felis) ocreata. 

It should be noted that the type locality given by Ellerman and 
Morrison-Scott (1951, p. 305) for F. libyca murgabensis is: "Tachta, 
on River Murgab, 36° N., 63° E., Afghan-Turkestan border." 
Tachta-Basar or Tachta, on the River Murghab, 36° N., 63° E. is 
correct, but this town and these coordinates are in Turkmen, S.S.R. 
at least 20 km. from the border of Afghanistan. 

Three feral Felis catus were collected by shooting, two in the rock 
biotope west of Shibar Pass and one on the stony steppe west of 
Herat. The first two are feral domestic cats, probably similar to the 
feral cat collected by Hutton. The third was similar to Felis libyca 
(=catus) caudata Gray as described by Pocock (1951, p. 125). Un- 
fortunately, the skin of this third specimen was lost in transit. 

Felis chaus Guldenstaedt Jungle Cat 

Felis chaus Guldenstaedt, 1776, Nov. Com. Acad. Petro,, 20, p. 483. 
Type locality. — USSR: Terek River north of the Caucasus. 

Distribution. — 

General: From Egypt east through the Middle East and 
Southern Asia, north to Eastern Transcaucasia and the west 

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coast of the Caspian Sea, parts of Russian Turkestan to Sinki- 
ang, Yunnan, and Vietnam; south to Ceylon. 

Afghanistan Records: Hutton (1845, p. 342), Scully (1887, 
p. 69), Sclater (1891, p. 228), Kullman (1965, p. 7), Ishunin 
(1965, p. 632), Niethammer (1966, p. 393). 

1965 Street Expedition: FMNH 103994-104000. 

Afghanistan Habitat: Below 1,000 m. in the watercourse and 
structure biotopes. Characteristic vegetation; high density 
and low homogeneity. 

Taxonomic Notes and Discussion. — 

Scully (1887, p. 69) describes Felis caudata Gray from Maimana 
as: "A flat skin, without skull. Nose to insertion of tail about 29.5 
inches [751 mm], tail about 13 [332], hairs at tip of tail 0.7 [18], ear 
from orifice at front 2.2 [56], longest whisker 3.5 [89], palma 3.2 [81], 
planta 1.4 [36]." He admits: ". . . from want of specimens for com- 
parison, and in the absence of the skull, I cannot feel certain that the 
identification is correct." 

Zukowsky (1914, p. 139), on the basis of Scully's data, which 
includes a brief description of the pelage, considers this specimen to 
be: "Felis (Felis) maimanah spec, nov." Subsequently Ognev (1935, 
p. 144), acknowledged Zukowsky's decision and concluded: "To 
establish the precise taxonomic position of this form more material 
would be needed," but Ellerman and Morrison-Scott (1951, p. 307) 
and Novikov (1956, p. 248) tentatively consider this specimen to be 
Felis chaus. Certainly more material would be desirable, however, 
by process of elimination we are left with Felis chaus, as the only 
other candidate is Felis catus lihyca which never has a head and body 
as long as 751 mm. According to Zukowsky, F. maimanah is dis- 
tinguished by a very large body and a tail which is short by compari- 
son. This specimen is large, but Scully's figures should not be 
accepted uncritically. In any event, Pocock (1951, p. 162), in his 
account of Felis chaus affinis (a subspecies ranging from Kashmir to 
?Assam), reports on a specimen having a head and body 721 mm. and 
tail 335 mm. The pelage of this subspecies is also similar to the 
pelage of the specimen described by Scully, thus, disregarding sub- 
specific differences, Scully's specimen must be considered Felis chaus 
until additional information proves otherwise. 

Field Notes and Discussion. — 

We trapped our first specimen, a large female, in thick foliage 
along the Hari Rud (river) near Herat, attracting it with fresh 



Meriones carcasses. Its stomach contained numerous Mas which was 
not surprising to us, for our smaller mammal trapping suggested that 
Mus was the most abundant rodent along the river. Subsequently, in 
October and November we shot five specimens while night hunting, 
one in the Hari Rud river bottom and four in the Helmand drainage. 
We also purchased a live kitten which had been captured in October 
near Kandahar. It greedily devoured numerous Mus, but was soon 
added to the collection of study specimens. 

Felis manul Pallas Manul Cat 

Felis manul Pallas, 1776, Reis. Russ. Reichs, 3, p. 692. 

Type locality. — Buryat Mongol ASSR: Dschida River south of 
Lake Baikal. 


General: Central Asia, from Transcaucasia eastward to 
Mongolia, Kansu, and Szechuan; north into Turkmen and 
Transbaikalia; south through the Iranian Plateau also to 
Baluchistan, Kashmir, and Tibet. 
Afghanistan Records: Pocock (1939. p. 320). 

1965 Street Expedition: skins only, FMNH 104003, -004. 

Third Danish Expedition, 1948 1949 (skin purchased in 
Kabul). Niethammer, (1968, iji litt., Central Afghanistan and 
Panjir Valley). 

Afghanistan Habitat: Dry stony plateaus and mountains. 
According to Novikov (1956, pp. 262-263): "Inhabits steppes 
and deserts, preferring stony plateaus and treeless rocky moun- 
tain slopes. Sometimes ascends high in mountains (to 3,000 

Discussion. — 

Pocock (1939) reports on a specimen collected by Col. Wilson 
from the Toba Plateau, on the south Afghan-Baluchi border. The 
remaining records are of skins purchased in fur bazaiirs or from 
natives. Skins purchased by the Street Expedition, one from Mazar- 

FlG. 40. The records and estimated limits of distribution for Felis chaiia (C), 
F. bengalensis (B), and Lynx lynx (L) in Afghanistan. The underlined question 
marks illustrate the alleged-province-of-origin of skins purchased in the Kabul and 
Herat fur bazaars. 



i-Sharif and one from Herat were said to have been collected near 
Kunduz and in the Wakhan. 

Felis bengalensis Kerr Leopard Cat 

Felis bengalensis Kerr, 1792, Anim. Kingd., 151. 
Type locality.— Ne])a\. 
Distribution. — 

General: Baluchistan, the Indian Faunal Region, China, and 
southeastern Russia. 

Afghanistan Records: Third Danish Expedition, 1948-1949 
(purchased, Nuristan). 

Afghanistan Habitat: Monsoonal Afghanistan. 

Discussion. — 

A single skin was purchased by the Third Danish Expedition. 
This skin represents the northwestern most distribution record for 
this species and is the first record from Afghanistan. According to 
Kullman (1965, p. 9), Felis bengalensis was previously known from 
Afghanistan, however, he offers no documentation of this assertion, 
Kullman quotes literature records mainly from Ellerman and Mor- 
rison-Scott (1951), but there are no records which are referred to 
Afghanistan in that checklist. 

The arid climate and sparse vegetation of dry Afghanistan 
undoubtedly limits this species to Monsoonal biotopes where it is 
obviously a rare (although not unexpected) habitat or perhaps 

Felis pardus Linnaeus Leopard 

Felis pardus Linnaeus, 1758, Syst. Nat., 10th ed., 1, p. 41, 
Type locality. — Egypt, 
Distribution. — 

General: According to Pocock (1939, p. 222): "The whole of 
Asia south and east of a line running roughly from Asia Minor 

Fig. 41. Distribution records for Felis catus (C), F. manitl (M), and Lynx 
caracal (L) in Afghanistan. Felis catus will probably be found throughout Af- 
ghanistan in suitable habitat. Distribution limits for F. manul and L. caracal 
are not estimated because there are few reliable records and their habitat prefer- 
ence has not been sufficiently studied. The underlined question marks illustrate 
the alleged-Province-of-origin of skins purchased in the Kabul and Herat fur 


and the Caucaus to Manchuria and Amurland, and reaching 
Kangean Island to the east of Java; also practically the whole 
of Africa except the Sahara." 

Afghanistan Records: Hutton (1845, p. 342), Kullman (1965, 
p. 6). 

Afghanistan Habitat: Probably above 1,500 m, in montane 
biotopes. According to Novikov (1956, p. 272): "Inhabits 
chiefly inaccessible mountain forests with cliffs, ravines and 
mountain streams, impassable thickets, at a height of 1,000 to 
1,500 m. and up to 3,500 m." 
Discussion. — 

Hutton (1845) reports: "This animal [Felis leopardus] is common 
in the mountainous parts of Afghanistan, and is destructive to flocks 
and cattle . . ." Blyth (in Hutton, 1845, p. 342) notes: "A Candahar 
specimen forwarded by Captain Hutton is of moderate dimensions, 
with rather long fur, very pale in colour, and the spots a good deal 
ringed, including those along the back line." Kullman (1965) reports 
on a "true leopard" (Felis pardus) from the Lataband Pass and on a 
further specimen of the subspecies Felis pardus saxicolor from Nuris- 
tan, which he describes as having characters intermediate between 
the true leopard and the snow leopard. He maintains that up to the 
time of his paper specimens of this subspecies are known from Persia 
only." Kullman was not aware of Hutton's record, which according 
to Blyth's description probably also belongs to this subspecies. 

Note : Kullman thinks F. pardus saxicolor resembles Felis uncia 
more than pardus, and that ". . . it should therefore be properly 
named 'Felis uncia saxicolor'," but he presents no evidence to sup- 
port his argument. 

The following comments are from Kullman (1965, p. 7): "The 
main prey of the leopard in Afghanistan [is] apparently wild goats 
and sheep. They seem to hunt other carnivores as well, perhaps 
wolves, as the leopard from the Lataband Pass was infected with 
Trichinella spiralis, and Trichinellosis is found in Afghanistan only in 
carnivores, according to our examinations. Leopards apparently 
cause a lot of damage among domestic animals in several provinces. 
On our last expedition in July of this year, in the Pesch Valley, we 
ascended to a mixed oak-cedar forest, at an altitude of 2,000 m., 
where we twice found fresh leopard tracks. During the night, 5 
sheep . . . were missing. The remains of one animal were found the 


next day, but no trace of the others. We also found the skull of a 
cow which had been recently killed." 

Felis tigris Linnaeus Tiger 

Felis tigris Linnaeus, 1758, Syst. Nat., 10th ed., 1, p. 41. 
Type locality. — Bengal. 
Distribution. — 

General: According to Pocock (1931, p. 197): "Practically 
the whole of Asia, in suitable localities, eastward of a line from 
the Caucasian area and Afghanistan to Manchuria and Korea, 
but omitting the Tibetan Plateau, most of India, and extending 
from Burma and the Malay Peninsula through the Sunda 
Islands to Bali, east of Java, but not found in Ceylon." 

Afghanistan Records: Elphinstone (1842, p. 187), Blyth (in 
Hutton, 1845, p. 341), Aitchison (1889, pp. 55, 56), Ognev 
(1935, pp. 290, 292). 

Afghanistan Habitat: Remote areas in the watercourse 

Discussion. — 

Elphinstone (1842) writes: "Tigers are found in most of the 
countries east of the range of Solimaun, and it is there that leopards 
are most common. They are, however, to be met with in most of the 
woody parts of Afghanistan." Blyth (in Hutton, 1845) notes: 
". . . Mr. Vigne remarks that the Tiger is 'said to be well known' upon 
the Sufyd koh mountain." Aitchison (1889) offers the following 
account: "On the 19th January, 1885, at our camp at Bala-morghab 
the body of a female tiger was brought to the General ... It was 
evidently an old animal, the teeth being broken and much worn 
away. It measured 8 feet 4^4 inches from the tip of the nose to the 
end of the tail, the tail alone measuring 36 inches and from the spine 
above the shoulder to the base of the second claw on the forefoot 
measured 3 feet 8 inches ... It was killed near Karaol-khana, 
between that and Mara-chak on the Bala-morghab river ... On the 
5th May, at the Chashma-sabz pass, at an elevation of 5,000 feet, 
I came across the playground evidently of a pair of fine animals, 
which, from the very recent condition of their pugs, must have been 
close in our neighborhood." Ognev (1935, pp. 290, 292) cites records 
of tigers from the proximity of the Afghan border in the regions of 
Bala-Murghab and the Upper Amu Darya (Pryandzh) river. The 


most recent record from the Afghan-Russian border region, as shown 
by Ognev, is around 1924. 

It is possible that a few tigers still exist in the more remote river 
valleys of northern Afghanistan, but it is almost a certainty that 
tigers no longer exist in Monsoonal Afghanistan (indeed if they ever 
did. Elphinstone's and Vigne's comments are not based upon 
specimens, but upon generalizations and second-hand information) . 

Felis uncia Schreber Snow Leopard 

Felis uncia Schreber, 1776, Saugethier, 3, pi. 100 (1776).. text 386, 586 (1777). 

Type locality. — Fixed by Pocock (1930, p. 332) as the Altai 
Mountains [Mongolian Peoples Republic and Sinkiang and Kansu 
provinces of China]. 

Distribution. — 

General: According to Pocock (1939, p. 240): Central Asia, 
the Altai, and Tibet; India, from Kashmir to the eastern end 
of the Himalayas. 

Afghanistan Records: Kullman (1965), Gaisler et al. (1968, 
p. 187). 

1965 Street Expedition: skin only, FMNH 104007. 

Afghanistan Habitat: This species is only known from skins 
purchased in the Kabul fur bazaar. Its habitat on the Hima- 
layan Mountains is reported by Pocock (1939, p. 242) : ". . . on 
rocky hill sides above the tree line at altitudes as low as 6,000 
ft. in winter and as high as 12,000 or 13,000 ft. in summer." 

Discussion. — 

Kullman (1965) says the snow leopard lives in the Wakhan and 
in Badakhshan at high altitudes, but is known only from skins in the 
Kabul bazaar. I saw three snow leopard skins in this bazaar, but 
only purchased one. The furriers were unanimous in ascribing 

Fig. 42. The records and estimated limits of distribution for Felis tigris (T), 
F. uncia (U), and F. pardus (P) in Afghanistan. Only locality records (one in 
Iran) are given for Acinonyx (A). An underlined question mark illustrates either 
the alleged-province-of-origin of a skin purchased in the Kabul fur bazaar or the 
most probable natural area wherein an insufficiently documented literature record 
might have been collected. For example: Blyth (in Hutton, 1945, p. 342) reports: 
"A Candahar [c.f.* on map] specimen [of Felis pardus] forwarded by Captain 
Hutton . . ." This leopard was probably brought to Kandahar from the moun- 
tains, as Hutton (ibid) notes: "This animal [F. pardus] is common in the moim- 
tains of Afghanistan, . . ." 



Badakhshan as the region wherein these snow leopards were cap- 
tured. In 1966, Gaisler et al. (1968) purchased a skin which, accord- 
ing to the merchant, came from Nuristan. The natural areas of 
Nuristan and Badakhshan share a common boundary along the crest 
of the Hindu Kush. 

Lynx lynx Linnaeus Lynx 

Felis lynx Linnaeus, 1778, Syst. Nat., 10th ed., 1, p. 43. 
Type locality. — Sweden: near Upsala. 

Distribution. — 

General: After Pocock (1939, p. 310) : "Europe, and Northern 
Asia to the limit of tree growth, Central Asia as far south as 
about lat. 30° N " 

Afghanistan Records: Kullman (1965, p. 9). 

1965 Street Expedition: skin only, FMNH 104002. 

Afghanistan Habitat: Data from the Himalayas east of 
Afghanistan presented by Pocock (1939, pp. 313, 314) suggests 
that it lives above 2,500 m. in densely vegetated habitat in the 
watercourse/rock biotope. 

Discussion. — 

Kullman (1965) reports on: "... a skin from the Bazaar in the 
Zoological Institute which probably came from Badakhshan." We 
purchased a skin in Herat which the furrier said was brought from 
the Wakhan. 

The lynx is found in Iran, the Pamirs, Kashmir, and, according 
to Ognev (1935, p. 215), ". . . perhaps across the northern part of 
Afghanistan." The above records in part support Ognev's suggestion 
as the lynx may visit or live in northeastern Afghaistan, but the 
dry, sparsely vegetated nature of the terrain in North and Northwest 
Afghanistan undoubtedly excludes it from the remainder of "the 
northern part of Afghanistan." 

Lynx caracal Schreber Caracal Lynx 

Felis caracal Schreber, 1776, Saugeth., pi. 110, text 3, pp. 413, 587, 1777. 

Type locality. — South Africa: Capetown: Table Mountain. 

Distribution. — 

General: Africa; Syria east through Iraq, Iran, Turkmenia 
to Punjab; south in Asia to Aden, Baluchistan, Cutch, and 
United Provinces, India. 


Afghanistan Records: Ognev (1935, pp. 194, 195), Novikov 
(1956, pp. 258-259), Bobrinski et al. (1965, p. 141), Kullman 
(1965, p. 8). 

Afghanistan Habitat: Steppe, semidesert, and dry montane 

Disctission. — 

In the first three of the four above citations of publications 
Afghanistan is included in a general statement on distribution. 
Those records are not based on a verifiable collection of this species 
within Afghanistan. Kullman (1965) remarks: ". . . the Carcacal 
(Felis caracal), occurs in the dry regions around Maimana and 
Shibargan, probably also in the Seistan." He offers no evidence to 
support this statement. 

The caracal has been collected in the Hari Rud, Murghab, and 
Amu Darya river valleys in Russian Turkestan. These rivers have 
their origins and much of their lengths in Afghanistan. Specimens 
have also been collected west (see Lay, 1967) and south (see Murray, 
1887, p. 118) of Afghanistan. Although rare, there can be little 
doubt that Lynx caracal occurs in Afghanistan. 

Acinonyx jubatus Schreber Cheetah 

Felis jubata Schreber, 1776, Saugeth., 3, pi. 105 (1776), text, 302, 586 (1777). 

Type locality. — South Africa: Cape of Good Hope. 

Distribution. — 

General: Southwest Asia and Africa; rare or extinct in 
central and northern India, W. Pakistan, and Afghanistan. 

Afghanistan Records: Aitchison (1889, p. 57). 

Third Danish Expedition, 1948-1949 (skin purchased at 

Afghanistan Habitat: Ancillary evidence from Iran (Lay, 
1967) and Turkmenia (Novikov, 1956, p. 280) suggest it will be 
found in large river basins in the clay-and-loess, and sand 
biotope below 1,000 m. 

Discussion. — 

This species is rare or extinct in Afghanistan. According to 
Aitchison (1889): "A pair of young Hunting Leopards were obtained 
by Peter Lumsden's party in their journey through Pei-sia towards 
Afghanistan, in the watershed of the Hari-rud river, on the southern 



slopes of the mountains that separate the watei-s of Zroabad from 
those of the Turbat-shaikh-jami river." This locality is close to 
Afghanistan but in Iran. Ognev (1935. p. 314) lists cheetahs from 
three drainages which have their source in northern Afghanistan. 
The most recent of Ognev's citations is 1932. around which time 
three were seen in the Murghab Basin. The only known record fiom 
Afghanistan is a dry. untanned skin purchased by Paludan at Farah. 
This town is in the Helmand Basin with many wild desert areas, and 
gazelles (a major food of Aciuonyx). If cheetahs exist anywhere in 
Afghanistan, it is probably in these basins. 


Equus hemionus Pallas Wild Ass 

Equuf: hemionus Pallas, 1775, Nov. Comm. Acad. Sci. Petrop., 19, p. 394, pi. 7. 
Type locality. —XJ.S^.S.R.: Transbaikalia (SO** N, 115* E). 
Asinus hemionus onager Boddaert, 1785 Persian Wild .\ss 

Equus onager Boddaert, 1785, Elenchus .\nimalum, 1, p. 160. "Mountains 

about Kasbin": more likely the desert south of Kasbin (Qazvin). 
Asinus hemionus kulan Groves and Mazak Transcaspian Wild .\ss 

Asintis hemionus kulan Groves and Mazak, 1967, Z. Saugetier., 32(6), 

pp. 343-345. 

Badkhyz Reserve, Turkmenia. U.S.S.R. (ca. 35 50' N, 61 40' E). 


General: Southern and Eastern Russian Turkestan, Mon- 
golia, Sinkiang, Tibet, the Iranian Plateau, and northern 
India. (Range formerly extended to the Syrian Di'sert.) 

Afghanistan Records: Babur in the sixteenth century A.D. 
(Memoirs translated and published in 1921. p. 246), ConoUy 
(1840, p. 723), Hutton (1846, p. 145), Aitchison (1889, pp. 61, 
62), Groves and Mazak (1967). 

Afghanistan Habitat: Steppe and semidesert biotopes. 
Discussion. — 

Groves and Mazak (1967) suggest that in Afghanistan the Per- 
sian Wild Ass is separated from the Transcaspian Wild Ass by the 

Fig. 43. Records and estimated distribution in river valleys and reed swamps 
for Sus scrofa (S'). Circled question marks denote general localities of past oc- 
currence for Equus hemionus. Aitchison's (1889) sightings are labeled A, as is 
the boimdary for possible current distribution. 


westernmost chains of the Hindu Kush. It should be noted that 
these . . . chains present no barrier, as the Hari Rud valley (where 
Aitchison, 1889, saw over 1,000 wild asses, see below) cuts a passage 
through the westernmost chains of the Hindu Kush. If the Hari Rud 
valley were used, a wild ass traveling from the Transcaspian depres- 
sion (range given for E. h. kulan) to the Sistan or Iranian Basins 
(included in range for E. h. onager) would seldom have to cross a 
ridge as high as 1,000 m. Groves and Mazak admit possible sub- 
specific intergradation along the Iran and Turkmenistan border: 
"... as the Elburz range in that area is low and would act as a poor 
barrier to gene flow." I suggest that the wide valleys along the 
border shared by Afghanistan and Iran, rather than the higher Elburz 
range, would be a more likely course of gene flow for intergradation. 

According to the translation of Babur's (1921) memoirs, the wild 
ass (ssp.?) was found near Ghazni, and near the Surkhab, a river 
which rises in the Sefid-koh, and joins the Kabul river. Conolly 
(1840) remarks: "Wild asses [E. hemionus onager] . . . abound in the 
desert between the Helmund and the Bandau hills." These hills are 
near the Afghan-Iran border but in Iran. Hutton (1846) says: "The 
Gorkhur, or wild Ass, I never saw, but it occurs in the southern 
deserts . . . also in the neighborhood of Herat and in Persia." Aitchi- 
son (1889) gives the following account of E. hemionus kulan: "In my 
march from Gal-i-cha to the base of the Kambao Pass, on the 20th 
of April, 1885, I had to cross the northern end of a great plain called 
"Gulam-i-maida7i," or the plain of the Wild Ass [approximately 
35.00 N, 61.15 E] . . . My guide took me to a slight elevation, and 
from it pointed out to me where I was to look for the animals: for 
some time I could see nothing; at last, whilst using my glasses, I 
noticed clouds of dust . . . these several lines of dust-cloud were 
caused by herds of Asses, galloping in various directions over the 
gi'eat plain. One herd came well within a mile's distance; from its 
extent, I am even now of the opinion which I then held, that the herd 
consisted of at least a thousand animals. I counted sixteen of these 
lines of dust-cloud at one time on the horizon." 

These records show that the wild ass was numerous and wide- 
spread in the past. The only recent Afghan record of this species 
of which I am aware is that they might persist near Kushka at the 
Turkmenistan border north of Herat, as Ellerman and Morrison- 
Scott (1951, p. 341) list it, "now surviving round Kushka." 

From the literature, I know of no study specimens of a wild ass 
from Afghanistan in a museum collection. 




Sus scrofa Linnaeus Wild Hog 

Sus scrofa Linnaeus, 1758, Syst. Nat., 10th ed., 1, p. 49. 

Type locality. — Germany. 

Distribution. — 

General: Palearctic Faunal Region and Indian Faunal Sub- 
region, but not found above 60° N latitude. 

Afghanistan Records: Conolly (1840. p. 719), Hutton (1846, 
p. 135), Aitchison (1889, p. 62), Dupree (1958, p. 288), Kull- 
man (1965, p. 15). 

Third Danish Expedition, 1948 1949 (Farah Rud). 

Afghanistan Habitat: Major river valleys in the watercourse 
biotope; persisting today in dense, reed swamps. 

Discussion. — 

Kullman (1965) writes: "Ten years ago they [Siis] were still 
numerous in the marshy districts near Pul-i-Khumri. After drain- 
age of large areas for agricultural purposes, their number decrease<l; 
considerably, also because they were hunted by F]uropeans foi- many 
years. This species is reported to be still numerous in Seistan, 
Kataghan, Paktia [Part of East and Monsoonal Afghanistan], 
Badakhshan and Nuristan. Wild boars invade the fields and cause 
serious damage during the harvest." 

Paludan's field notes from the Third Danish Expedition provide 
a record of this species collected along the Farah Rud, which is 
supported by a skull. Dupree (1958) reports on bones (fragmentary 
remains of ten Sus scrofa) excavated from Shamshir Ghar, a cave 
near Kandahar. 

Lay (1965) collected five pigs 24-32 km. southwest of Zabol in 
the Sistan Basin (Helmand Delta). During November. 1965 when 
we were encamped on this delta (see fig. 24, locality 15, in Hassinger, 
1968) we never saw a pig but heard them squealing in the reed 

Cervus elaphus Linnaeus Red Deer; Stag 

Cervus elaphus Linnaeus, 1758, Syst. Nat., 10th ed., I, p. 67. 
Type locality. — Southern Sweden. 


Distribution. — 

General: The Palearctic Faunal Region, eastwards to Man- 
churia and eastern Siberia, south to the Yangtze, and into the 
Indian Faunal Subregion along the southern slopes of the 
Himalayas; Algeria and Tunis, where rare. North America. 

Afghanistan Records: Scully (1887, p. 76), Aitchison (1889, 
p. 65), Flerov (1952, pp. 151, 168-169), Kullman (1965, p. 15; 
1966/67, p. 133), Bobrinskii et al. (1965, pp. 217, 218, map 60). 

Third Danish Expedition, 1948-1949 (grave with two ant- 
lers between Jurm and Faizabad). Flerov (1952) noted the red 
deer was found along the Kukche (=Kokcha) River but not 
beyond 10 km. from its confluence with the Amu Darya; in the 
Kunduz River valley from Khanabad to the Amu Darya; and 
along the Balkh River. It is not known whether deer are 
found along these rivers today, but is unlikely that the Balkh 
River, which is completely consumed in irrigation of the land, 
supports any deer today. 

Afghanistan Habitat: Dense vegetation along the Amu 
Darya. According to Flerov (1952): ". . . the bukharian 
[=stag] deer is encountered in hilly regions. It inhabits only 
a narrow strip of dense vegetation along rivers and never goes 
higher than places where the rivers emerge from the mountain 

Discussion. — 

Scully (1887) reports on a left antler of Cervus cashmirianus 
{ = C. elaphus) from the banks of the Oxus (Amu Darya) near Balkh. 
Aitchison (1889) noticed a pair of Cervus maral (=C. elaphus maral) 
horns on a shrine north of Herat. 

Kullman (1965) notes: "Cervidae seem to be represented in 
Afghanistan only by a few individuals of one species. The red 
deer {Cervus elaphus) in North Afghanistan is the only species reli- 
ably recorded (on the banks of Amu Darya, east of Kunduz.)" 
In 1965 I saw a live C. elaphus from this area, confined in a cage at 
the Institute of Zoology and Parasitology in Kabul. Kullman 
(1966-67, p. 133) shows a photograph of this captive stag. 

Along the Amu Darya (see fig. 44), Bobrinskii et al. (1965, pp. 
217, 218, map 60) show distribution for subspecies Cervus elaphus 
bactrianus Lydekker. 


Moschus moschiferus Linnaeus Musk Dwr 

Moschus moschiferus Linnaeus, 1758, Syst. Nat., 10th ed., I, p. 66. 

Type locality.— "Tartary, approaching China." 

Distribution. — 

General: From Monsoonal Areas in Afghanistan eastwards 
along the southern flanks of the Himalayas to northern Burma, 
and below 70° N latitude in the Palearctic faunal region from 
the Altai mountains and Yenesei River and eastwards to the 
Pacific Ocean. 

Afghanistan Records: Raverty (1859)— for Kafiristan 


Third Danish Expedition, 1948-1949 (Pashki). 

Afghanistan Habitat: Coniferous forests in Monsoonal 

Discussion. — 

On May 13, 1948, in the Parun Valley near Pashki, Paludan 
(Third Danish Expedition) observed, ". . . an animal about the size 
of a roe deer, greyish like a roe in winter, but the hindquarters were 
not snow white; head small, narrow; antler or horn not seen." On 
May 21, Paludan questioned the Malik (= chief) of Kustaki (a small 
village north of Pashki in the Parun Valley at 2,375 m. elevation), 
showing him pictures of animals in Sterndale's Mammalia of India. 
The musk deer was identified as being common. The Malik spon- 
taneously mentioned the musk-glands and that the "tusks" are only 
found in males. Subsequently, Paludan saw another deer like the one 
he had seen previously and noted, "Yesterday the Malik confirmed 
a suspicion I have entertained since seeing the first deer; the animals 
I have seen are Musk deer." 

Gazella subgutturosa Goitered Gazelle 

Antilope subgutturosa Guldenstaedt, 1780, Act. Acad. Sci. Petrop., 1778, 1, 
p. 251. 

Type locality. — Northwestern Persia. 
Distribution. — 

General: Arabian peninsula, Transcaucasia, Euphrates Val- 
ley, Iranian Plateau, Russian Turkestan, Mongolia, Tibet, and 



Afghanistan Records: Hutton (1846. p. 151). Wood (1872, 
p. 268), Scully (1887. p. 76), Aitchison (1889. p. 64). Sclater 
(1891, p. 161), Kullman (1965, p. 14). 

1965 Street Expedition: FMNH 104008-011. 

Third Danish Expedition, 1948 1949 (field observations: 72 
km. W. of Girishk, 25 km. W. of Dilaram, ca. 10 km. S. of 
Girishk, 50 km. NW of Kandahar, N. of Farah, between 
Tirpul and Islam Qala). 

Afghanistan Habitat: Below 2.000 m. in the steppe and 
semidesert. Common in the clay-and-loess biotope and on 
stony, alluvial fans. 

Discussion. — 

Hutton (1846) and Aitchison (1889) attest to the abundance of 
this species in the semideserts from Quetta (W. Pakistan) and 
Kandahar to Herat. Aitchison mentions a 'drive' near Herat which 
resulted in the coalescence of a number of small (four or five) bands 
of gazelles, thus: "... several members of the Mission told me 
[Aitchison] that they had seen herds numbering hundreds of individ- 
uals. . . ." 

I saw young, captive gazelles at the Institute of Zoology and 
Parasitology in Kabul and in an enclosed yard in Kandahar. Hunt- 
ers living near Girishk said they were usually successful when 
gazelle hunting. In November our party .saw a single male crossing 
the highway near Kalat-i-Ghilzai. 

Mr. Street collected two males (one subadult) and two females 
(both subadult) on a pebble desert about 30 km. northeast of 
Girishk. The young females were hornless. The extreme measure- 
ments of the skins are: HB, 855-1.008; T. 154 192; HF. 302 337; and 
E, 141 150. 

Immediate measures should be undertaken to restrict the indi.s- 
criminate hunting of this species. Ten years ago a trip between 
Kabul and Herat would have taken about a week, frequently longer. 
Today, because of a paved road, the same trip can be completed in a 
day or two. This road traverses some of the best gazelle habitat in 

Fig. 44. Estimated limits of current distribution for Cervm elaphm (C), 
Moschus moschiferus (M), and Gazella sHbguttnrom (G). Records for Crrnn< are 
are circled; other records are for Gazella excepting single locality shown for Mo- 
schm. Records of Cervus marked A are of antlers decorating religious shrines. 
These antlers were undoubtedly found elsewhere, probably along the Amu Darya. 


Afghanistan. Hunting pressure will undoubtedly increase because of 
this increased accessibility to their native haunts, but perhaps the 
actual use of vehicles to run them down is of greater import as Lay 
(1967) remarks: ". . . [In Iran] the great herds of two or three decades 
ago have been wantonly decimated by jeep hunting. ..." 

Gazella gazella {fide classification in Ellerman and Morrison- 
Scott, 1951, pp. 392-393) has been collected approximately 145 km. 
west (Lydekker, 1908, p. 499; Qayen [=Kain], Iran), 200 km. south 
(Blanford, 1876, p. 91; Jalk [= Jalq], Iran) and 40 km. east (Murray, 
1887, p. 23; Sagee, Baluchistan) of South Afghanistan. Approxi- 
mately 80 per cent of the triangle formed by these localities encom- 
passes South Afghanistan. It is assumed that eventually this species 
will be collected in Afghanistan. 

Capra hircus Linnaeus Persian Wild Goat 

Capra hircus Linnaeus, 1758, Syst. Nat., 10th ed., 1, p. 68. 
Capra hircus aegagrus Erxleben, 1777. Syst. Tegn. Anim., p. 260. Persian 
wild goat. 

Type locality. — SE Russia: Dagestan district of Caucasus. 

Distribution. — 

General: After Ellerman and Morrison-Scott (1951, p. 405): 
"... wild forms occur in the Greek Islands, Caucasus, Southern 
Turkmeniya in Russian Turkestan, Asia Minor, Persia, [Af- 
ghanistan], to Baluchistan and Western Sind, India." 

Afghanistan Records: Hutton (1842, pp. 523-535; 1846, p. 
161), Sclater (1891, p. 143), Kullman (1965, p. 14). 

1965 Street Expedition (photo taken in Kandahar). 

Third Danish Expedition. 1948-1949 (South of Farah, 

Afghanistan Habitat: Barren, rocky hills and mountains, 
usually above 1,000 m. 

Fig. 45. Records and estimated limits of distribution for Capra hircus. 
(Extralimital record fide Lay, 1967, p. 227.) Circled records 1, 2, and 3 denote 
religious shrines where horns of C. hircus were found, however hircus does not live 
on plains (sites 1 and 2) and is not known to occur as far NE as Kabul (site 3). 
Therefore these horns must have been carried to the illustrated sites, perhaps from 
mountains in South and West Afghanistan or possibly from Iran. 



Discussion. — 

With the exception of Hutton the above records refer to collec- 
tions of skulls. Hutton (1842b) gives the dimensions of: "... a full 
grown individual living in my possession at Candahar." Unfor- 
tunately, this specimen (a nine year old male: "... judging from the 
joints of the horns.") was not preserved. Sclater (1891) lists the 
skull of a male collected by Sir A. Burns in: "Afghanistan." 

According to Kullman (1965): ". . . the bezoar-goat (Capra 
hircus), had not been recorded from Afghanistan in the past. . . . The 
first indication of the existence of the bezoar goat was found on 
tombs in Seistan and near Farah. The head of a freshly killed speci- 
men was later sent to us from Kandahar . . ." Kullman used EUer- 
man and Morrison-Scott (1951) as his principal reference but it does 
not cite the specimens reported by Hutton or Sclater. 

In Kandahar a hunter gave Mr. Street a photo of the results of a 
hunting expedition in which the ten carcasses of goats and sheep dis- 
played included three male Ovis ammon and three male Capra hircus. 
This photo was ostensibly taken in Kandahar and the locality of the 
hunt was said to be the mountains near Kandahar. 

Blanford (1888-91, p. 503) asserts that C. hircus aegagrus: 
". . .is found on the barren hills of Baluchistan and Western Sind, 
but not east or northeast of the Bolan Pass and Quetta, as it is 
replaced by C. falconeri." 

The above records suggest the eastern limits of distribution for 
this species approximates 68° E longitude. 

Capra ibex Linnaeus Ibex 

Capra ibex Linnaeus, 1758, Syst. Nat., 10th ed., 1, p. 68. 
Type locality. — Switzerland: Valis. 

Distribution. — 

General: Alps of Northern Italy, Caucasus, Russian Turkes- 
tan, Central Siberia, Mongolia, Sinkiang, Kashmir, Northern 
Punjab, Afghanistan, Palestine, Arabia, Egypt, the Sudan, 
and Abyssinia. 

Afghanistan Records: Aitchison (1889, p. 64), Kullman 
(1965, p. 14). 

1965 Street Expedition: FMNH 104013-015. 

Third Danish Expedition, 1948-1949 (Bamian). 



Afghanistan Habitat: Mountains about 1,500 m. preferring 
rocky, alpine, and subalpine biotopes. 

Discussion. — 

The above records are based mainly on skulls. Kullman (1965, 
p. 14) points out: "It [C. ibex] apparently occurs in all highlands of 
Afghanistan, as in every province the tombs of saints are decorated 
with its horns." 

Aitchison (1889) writes: "The Ibex was very numerous, and 
frequently seen on the more rocky parts of the Badghis. . . The rocks 
in localities such as the Sim-koh country and Kambao Pass, suddenly 
spring out distinct from the rolling plains on all sides to a few hundred 
feet in height; these sudden perpendicular ridges are the ordinary 
haunts of the Ibex . . ." Aitchison's records are exceptional as ibex 
are usually found at higher elevations. 

In July we obtained a young male (HB, 691) and a young female 
(HB, 682) 13 km. south of Shibar Pass at approximately 3,300 m. 
Neither specimen had horns. We purchased the head of a freshly 
killed, adult female in the Wakhan. I noted three pairs of male ibex 
horns in this same locality. 

Capra falconeri Wagner Markhor 

Aegoceros (Capra) falconeri Wagner, 1839, Munch. Gelehrt. Anz., 9, p. 430. 
Type locality.— Kashmir. 
Distribution. — 

General: Southern Russian Turkestan, Afghanistan, Kash- 
mir, Punjab, Baluchistan. 

Adams (1858, p. 528) erroneously lists the distribution of 
this species as including even Persia and notes a record of a 
pair of horns from Herat which: "... resembled, again, the 
specimens from Cashmere, only more rounded in their con- 
figuration, and had fewer twists." The markhor is not known 
from Iran or from within 700 km. of Herat (see Discussion). 
There is little doubt that this "extralimital record" of C. 
falconeri is based on a mislabeled pair of horns, or on horns 
which for some purpose (possibly to adorn a grave) were trans- 
ported from east of Bamian to Herat. 

Fig. 47. Records and estimated limits of distribution for Capra falconeri. 
Circled record is site of holy tomb where a horn of this species was seen. 



Afghanistan Records: Hutton (1842, pp. 535-542), Ward 
(1928, pp. 340-342), Kullman (1965, p. 14). 

1965 Street Expedition: FMNH 104012 (skin, skull, and 
skeleton) . 

Third Danish Expedition, 1948-1949 (horns and skulls pur- 
chased at Wama, Nuristan, and horns seen on a religious 
shrine near Bamian). 

Afghanistan Habitat: According to Blanford 1888-1891, p. 
508): "In Afghanistan, where forest is, as a rule, wanting, the 
markhor is found in stony ravines and on steep hillsides, and 
is found in some places at a low elevation." The markhor now 
evidently inhabits areas above 1,500 m. in alpine and subalpine 
habitat supporting mesophytic vegetation. 

Discussion. — 

Hutton (1842c, p. 535) described Capra megaceros (= C . falconeri 
megaceros) from Afghanistan. The exact type locality is unknown. 
According to Hutton (1842c, p. 535) ; "The Markhore is an inhabitant 
of the same hills of the foregoing species [Capra hircus], but its range 
appears to be somewhat more limited. Numbers are said to be found 
in the Soolimaun ranges, and away to the northward of Cabool, .... 
Of a female which lived in my possession at Kandahar, the following 
are the measurements: ..." These remarks led Lydekker (1913, p. 
167) to assign northern Afghanistan as the type locality of this sub- 
species, while, according to Ellerman and Morrison-Scott (1951, p. 
408), Kandahar is the type locality and it ranges to Baluchistan. 
This latter work is probably wrong because the markhor has not 
been reported from the mountains west of the main road between 
Kandahar and Kabul. East of this road in the Sulaiman mountains 
is the range of C. falconeri jerdoni, which, according to Ward (1928, 
p. 340), is distributed in: ". . . the trans-Indus hill ranges on the fron- 
tier of the Punjab, Afghanistan, and Baluchistan, extending ... to 
the Quetta district." Further, the type locality of a third subspecies, 
Capra falconeri chialtanensis, is the Chialtan Range, near Quetta, 
Baluchistan. It seems unlikely that the range of C. falconeri mega- 
ceros also approaches Quetta, as it must if we concur with Ellerman 
and Morrison-Scott's suggestion that C. falconeri megaceros ranges 
from Kandahar to Baluchistan. Indeed, a record from near Kan- 
dahar (situated below 1,500 m. in dry Afghanistan) would be excep- 
tional, as the range of the markhor from southeast Russian Turkes- 
tan to immediately west of Quetta approximates the eastern rim of 


the Iranian Plateau, thus, in part, reflecting an association of this 
species with somewhat mesophytic habitat as contrasted with ('. 
hircus and C. ibex, both of which may be found in more arid locahties. 
Irrespective of this argument, subsequent records of megaceros are 
from north and east of Kabul, not from Kandahar or Baluchistan. 

The extremes of the configurations of the seven i)airs of horns 
(straight-line length ranging from 420 to 850) purchased by Paludan 
(Third Danish Expedition) at Wama, Nuristan, approximate the 
shape of the horns of C. /. megaceros and C. J\ cashmiriensis as illus- 
trated by Ward (1928, p. 241). 

Near Kamdesh three hired hunters returned with a young male- 
markhor (on October 16, 1965) within two days of our initial request 
for sheep and goats. The alleged site of its demise was about 16 km. 
north of Kamdesh at approximately 2,100 m. This goat measurcnl: 
HB, 883; T, 145; HF, 330; E, 120; and height at the shoulder 740 
mm. The straightline length of its horns taken from the posterior 
side of the base to the tip is 210 mm. 

Ovis am men Linnaeus Wild Sheep 

Capra ammon Linnaeus, 1758, Syst. Nat., 10th ed., 1, p. 70. 

Type locality. — Kazakh SSR.: Semipalatinsk Oblast: near Ust' 
Kamenogorsk on the Irtish River. 

Distribution . — 

General: From Sardinia, Corsica, the Iranian, and Ust-Urt 
Plateaus eastwards to Mongolia, Tibet, and the Himalayas. 

Afghanistan Records: Blyth (1840, p. 62; 1841, pp. 195 197), 
Hay (1840. pp. 440 443), Hutton (1842a. pp. 514-521; 1846. 
p. 152), Aitchison (1889, p. 63), Ward (1928, pp. 380, 381). 
Kullman (1965, p. 14), Povolny (1966, p. 310), McDonald 
(1968, pp. 10-14). 

1965 Street Expedition: FMNH 104016 019, skulls only. 

Garber (1963, in litL), Dr. C. Douglas (1965, in litl.). 

Afghanistan Habitat: Montane, not commonly found below 
1,000 m., may range as high as 5,795 m. 

Discussion . — 

The classification here followed is that of Tsalkin (1951) who 
regards the Old World sheep as a single, polymorphic species to 
which the name Ovis ammon Linnaeus, 1758, applies. Thus speci- 


mens from Afghanistan which have been reported as 0. orientalis or 
0. vignei are herein considered as belonging to the species Ovis am- 

Two subspecies are known from Afghanistan: Ovis ammon 
cycloceros and O. ammon poll. Ovis cycloceros (= 0. ammon cycloceros) 
was described by Hutton in 1842a from a sheep: ". . . brought by 
a chief from the Huzarreh [Hazara] hills to Candahar, . . ." This 
subspecies has been found throughout Afghanistan, exclusive of the 
range of poli in the Wakhan. It is abundant in Afghanistan. For 
example: Dr. C. Douglas (1965, in litt.) writes: "We saw herds of up 
to 200 Ovis vignei [=0. ammon cycloceros] north of Anjumin Pass." 
The Street Expedition obtained four skulls of males, the largest 
having horns measuring 630 mm. in length. Specimens of this sub- 
species are being maintained in captivity at the Kabul Institute of 
Zoology and Parasitology. 

The Marco Polo sheep {Ovis ammon poli), according to Car- 
ruthers (1949), ". . . rediscovered by Burnes, in 1834, and the first 
specimen retrieved by Wood in 1838 enabled Blyth to name it in 
1840." Blyth (1840, p. 63) remarks, ". . . an animal called the Rasse 
was indicated, from report, in Sir Alexander Burnes' 'Travels in 
Bokhara,' ii. 208, and its horns have since been transmitted to the 
Royal Asiatic Society by Lieut. Wood, of Sir A. Burnes' party, ^ 
through the medium of G. T. Vigne, Esq." Wood (1872) in the naiTa- 
tive of his Journey to the Source of the River Oxus (=Amu Darya), 
describes the collection of at least one sheep in the valley leading to 
Lake Siri Kol (= Victoria Lake), noting, "A skeleton of this animal 
and several complete crania, were deposited, I believe, at Indiana." 
According to a footnote (in Wood, 1872, p. 241), the horns of one 
specimen forwarded to the Royal Society by Wood measure 4 ft., 8 in. 
in length, 14 14 in. around the base, and 3.0 ft. between the tips. 
The type for poli has the same measurements with one exception, 
namely Blyth (1840, p. 63) describes the tips as pointing, ". . . ob- 
liquely backwards, 45 inches [not 36 inches] apart." 

' Lieutenant Wood was responsible to Sir Alexander Burnes, but he was not 
accompanied by Burnes during his journey to the source of the Oxus. 

Fig. 48. Records and estimated limits of distribution for Ovis ammon. Type 
localities — indicating regions of possible collection — are for subspecies cycloceros 
(C) and poli (P). In Afghanistan, cycloceros is generally found west of 73° east 
long., whereas poli ranges east of this meridian. 



There is no evidence, either in Blyth's (1840) description or in 
Wood's (1872) narrative to support Ellerman and Morrison-Scott's 
(unexplained) listing of, "Near the sources of Syr Darya ..." as the 
type locality for poli; rather the available evidence suggests that the 
type locality is near the sources of the Oxus (= Amu Darya), or more 
specifically: along the Afghan-Tadzhikistan border, west of Lake Siri 
Kol (=Lake Victoria), see Figure 48. 

Poncins (1895, pp. 59-60) observes: "They [0. poli] are not com- 
mon in summer all along the Aksu, but the neighboring hills on the 
northern, eastern, and southern sides of the great Victoria Lake 
[=Lake Siri Kol], are full of Ovis." 

Garber (1963, in litt.) hunted for Marco Polo sheep in September, 
1963. His party followed Wood's route along the headwaters of the 
Amu Darya toward Lake Siri Kol. Roughly 50 km. west of this 
Lake, Garber's party turned: ". . . south away from Russia . . . into 
the valley of the Marco Polo sheep — the private hunting ground of 
the king of Afghanistan, . . ."A temporary hunting camp was located 
at approximately 4,600 m. elevation. Garber writes, "We saw more 
than 100 rams [13 September 1963] head out of the valley for higher 
ground in the glaciers." He shot two wolves, and his party accounted 
for three sheep, one of which was collected near 5,500 m., above the 
permanent snow line. 

Garber hunted south of the north fork (= Pamir river) of the 
Amu Darya, but subsequently at least seven trophy hunters were 
guided to the Tulobi valley near Sarhad-i-Wakhan (4,070 m.), which 
is north of the south fork (= Wakhan river) . McDonald (1968, p. 10) 
describes the Tulobi valley, adding, "During eight days hunting I 
had seen one hundred thirty-three sheep. George Dalziel, who is an 
experienced sheep guide in Canada, agreed with me that there are 
between four and five hundred sheep in the King's reserve." 


This survey of mammal species (excluding bats) known from or 
thought to occur in Afghanistan provides for the first time under one 
cover a compendious history of contributions, an account for each of 
84 species including tabulated measurements of skins and distribu- 
tion maps, and a gazetteer of localities cited in text. It is based 
primarily on 1,313 specimens contained in 58 species and distribution 
data resulting from the 1965 Street Expedition, and on a critical 
review of publications and other collections. 

The following taxonomic contributions beyond those presented 
by EUerman and Morrison-Scott (1951), Atallah and Harrison 
(1968), and Niethammer (1965, 1969) result from this study: 

Crocidura zarudnyi zarudnyi Ognev, 1928, is, on the basis of new 
collections of zarudnyi, considered to be a distinct species and 
not, as postulated by Ellerman and Morrison-Scott (1951), a sub- 
species of Crocidura pergrisea Miller, 1913. 

Crocidura zarudnyi streetorum Hassinger, 1970, a new subspecies of 
shrew, has been described from the mountains of Afghanistan. 

Lepus capensis Linnaeus, 1758. Evidence is presented which shows 
that characters used by Ellerman and Morrison-Scott (1951) and 
Petter (1961) to separate capensis from other species of Lepus 
have subspecific rather than specific significance. 

Meriones crassus zarudnyi Heptner, 1937, is, in fact, Meriones 
zarudnyi and not a subspecies of Meriones crassus Sundevall, 

Topotypes collected at or near type localities by the 1965 Street 
Expedition include: five Hemiechinus auritus megalotus Blyth, 1845, 
from Kandahar (1,000 m.); 30 Ochotona rufescens rufescens Gray, 
1842, from Paghman (2,500-2,600 m.); 27 Calomyscus bailwardi 
mustersi Ellerman, 1948, from Paghman (2,550 2,850 m.); 22 
Meriones crassus swinhoei Scully, 1881, from between Kandahar and 
Spin Baldak (1,000-1,100 m.); 15 Meriones libycus erythrourus Gray, 



1842, near Kandahar and Spin Baldak (1,000-1,100 m.); 11 adult 
Mus muscultis hactrianus Blyth, 1846. from Kandahar (about 1,000 
m) ; eight Nesokia indica huttoni Blyth, 1846, and one Atlactaga elater 
indica Gi*ay, 1842, from near Kandahar (about 1,000 m.); one sub- 
adult Allactaga euphrcUica caprimulga Ellennan, 1948. from Shibar 
Pass (2,623 m.); four Vulpes vulpes griffiihi Blyth, 1854, from near 
Kandahar (1,000 m.) ; and 20 Herpestes auropunctatus pallipes Blyth, 
1845. from Kandahar (1,000 m.). 

As a result of this survey, nine species are reported from Afghanis- 
tan for the first time: 

Crocidura suaveolens Jaculus blanfordi 

Crocidura zarudnyi Allactaga hotsoni 

Microtiis juldnshi Martes flavigula 

Gerbillus cheesmani Moschus moschiferus 
Meriones zarudnyi 

Too, new distribution records are illusti-ated for 60 species and have 
contributed to significant i*ange extensions for four of them: Crocidura 
zarudnyi, Ochotona macrotis, Microtus juldashi, and Microtus socialis. 

Insofar as wari*anted by new evidence, ambiguous or erroneous 
data published in the literature have been clarified or confuted. 


Adams, L. 

1858. Remarks on the habits and haunts of some of the mammalia found in 
various parts of India and the western Himalayan Mountains. Proc. Zool. 
Soc., London, 25, pp. 512-531. 


1889. The zoology of the Afghan delimitation commission. Trans. Linn. Soo. 
London, ser. II, 5, pp. 53-142 (mammals by O. Thomas, pp. .53 65). 

Akhtar, S. a. 

1944. A note on the habits of pikas or Jour. Bombay Nat. Hist. 
Soc, 45, no. 1, p. 82. 

1945. On the habits of the marbled polecat, Vornielit pereguxna. Jour. Bombay 
Nat. Hist. Soc, 45, p. 142. 

1957. Further notes on the Himalayan mouse-hare, or pika (Ocholuna rufes- 
cens). Jour. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc, 54, pp. 455-457. 

Anderson, J. 

1875. Description of .some new Asiatic mammals and Chelonia. .\nn. Mag. 
Nat. Hist., ser. 4, 16, no. 94, pp. 282 285. 

1881. Catalogue of Mammalia in the Indian Museum, Calcutta. Indian Mu- 
seum Publ., Part I, XV +223 pp. 

Argiropulo, a. J. 

1933. i)ber .swei neue palaarkti.sche Z. Saugetierk., 8, pp. 180- 
183, 3 figs. 

Atallah, S. I. and D. L. Harrison 

1968. On the conspecificity of AUactaga euphralica Thomas, 1880 and Allaclaga 
mlliamsi Thomas, 1897 (Rodentia: Dipodidae) with a complete list of sub- 
species. Mammalia, 32, no. 4, pp. 628-638. 

Babur, Z. M. 

1921. Memoirs of Zahir-ed-din Muhammed Babur, Kmperor of Hindustan. 
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Barrett-Hamilton, G. E. H. 

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cies. Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., ser. 7, 5, pp. 41-50. 

Blanford, W. T. 

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and Wakhan, with descriptions of new species. Jour. .Asiat. Soc. Bengal, 44, 
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1876. Eastern Persia, an account of the Journeys of the Persian Boundary 
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516 pp., 28 pis., 1 map. 



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Blyth, E. 

1840. On the species of the genus Oins. Proc. Zool. Soc, London, Part 8, 
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1841. An amended list of the species of the genus Ovis (with new notes). Proc. 
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1846. Footnotes on: Rough notes on the Zoology of Candahar and the neigh- 
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1847. Description of Sciuropterus baberi (in report of Curator, Zoological 
Dept.). Jour. Asiat. Soc. Bengal, 16, p. 866. 

1854. Vulpes griffithi Blyth. Jour. Asiat. Soc. Bengal, 23, p. 270. 
1856. Memoir on the Indian Shrews. Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., ser. 2, 17, pp. 

BoBRiNSKii, N. A., B. A. KuzNETZov, and A. P. Kuzyakin 

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plates. 111 maps (in Russian). 

Carruthers, a. D. M. 

1949. Beyond the Caspian. Oliver & Boyd Publ. Co., Edinburgh, xx +289 pp. 

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1947. Revision of the genus Meriones. Proc. Zool. Soc, London, 117, pp. 478- 

Cockrum, E. L. 

1957. Manual of Mammalogy. Burgess Publ. Co., Minneapolis, Minn. iii4- 
160 pp. 


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Corbet, G. B. and L. A. Jones 

1965. The specific characters of the crested porcupines, subgenus Hystrix. 
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1955. Who saw the Sch'goon? Nat. Hist., 64, pp. 525-527. 

1958. Shamshir Ghar: historic cave site in Kandhar Province, Afghanistan. 
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Eliseev, L. N. and O. I. Kellina 

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Ellerman, J. R. 

1941. Families and genera of living rodents. Brit. Mus. (Nat. Hist.), London, 
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1948. Key to the Rodents of Southwest Asia. Proc. Zool. Soc., London. 118. 
pp. 765-817. 

Ellerman, J. R. and T. C. S. Morrison-Scott 

1951. Checklist of Palaearctic and Indian Mammals. Brit. Mus. (Nat. Hist.) 
Publ., 810 pp., folding map. 

Elphinstone, M. 

1842. An account of the kingdom of Caubul, and its dependencies in Persia, 
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1966. On a new species of Salpingotm (Dipodidae, Rodentia) from North- 
western BaluchLstan. Mammalia, 30, no. 3, pp. 431-440. 

Flerov, K. K. 

1952. Musk Deer and Deer of the Fauna of the USSR. Academy of Sciences 
of the USSR, Inst. Zool., vol. 1, no. 2, 247 pp. + Bibliography and Index. 
Moscow, Leningrad. (Trans, from Russian in 1960 by the Israel Program for 
Scientific Trans. Jerusalem, IPST Cat. No. 123.) 


1963. Iran and Turkey, 1962. Roy. Hort. Soc. Jour., 1963, 88, Part I, pp. 
166-176: Part II, pp. 199-211; Part III, pp. 247-251. 

Gaisler, J., D. PovoLNY, Z. Sebek, and F. Tenora 

1967. Faunal and ecological review of the mammals occurring in the environs 
of Jalalabad, with notes on further discoveries of mammals in Afghanistan. I. 
Insectivora, Rodentia. Zool. Listy, 16, no. 4, pp. 355-364. 

1968. Faunal and ecological review of the mammals occurring in the environs 
of Jalalabad, with notes on further discoveries of mammals in Afghanistan. 
III. Carnivora, Lagomorpha. Zool. Listy, 17, no. 2, pp. 185-189. 

Gray, J. E. 

1842. Descriptions of some new genera and fifty unrecorded species of mam- 
mals. Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., 10, no. 65, pp. 255-267. 

Griffith, W. 

1847. Journals and travels in Assam, Burma, Bootan, Afghanistan and the 

neighbouring countries. Calcutta. 529 pp. 
1865. In Eden, Sir Ashley, Political Missions to Bootan. Calcutta, 1, 

Gropp, A. P. CiTOLER and M. Geisler 

1969. Karyotypvariation und Heterochromatinmuster bei Igeln {Erinaceus und 
Hemiechinus). Chromosoma, 27, pp. 288-307, 9 figs. 

Groves, C. P. and V. MazAk 

1967. On some taxonomic problems of Asiatic wild asses; with the description 
of a new subspecies (Perissodactyla; Equidae). Z. Saugetierk., 32, no. 6, 
pp. 321-355, 13 figs. 

Hall, E. R. 

1951, A synopsis of the North American Lagomorpha. Univ. Kansas Publ. 
Mu.s. Nat., 5, no. 10, pp. 119-202, 68 figs. 

Hassinger, J. 

1968. Introduction to the mammal survey of the 1965 Street Expedition to 
Afghanistan. Fieldiana: Zool., 55, no. 1, pp. 1-81, 25 figs. 


1970. Shrews of the Crocidura zarudnyi-pergrisea Group with descriptions of 
a new subspecies. Fieldiana: Zool., 58, pp. 5-8. 

Hay, R. G. 

1840. Notes on the wild sheep of the Hindoo Koosh. Jour. Asiat. Soc. Ben- 
gal, 9, pt. 1, pp. 440-443. 

Heptner, W. G. 

1937. Notes on Gerbillidae (Mammalia, Glires), IX. Remarks on a new spe- 
cies of Meriones from Turkestan and on the systematic position of the gerbils 
belonging to the Meriones persictis Group. Bull. Mosk. Obshch. Isp. Prirody, 
Sect. Biol. N. S., 46, no. 4, pp. 189-193. 

1958. "Records of zarudnyi in Turkestan." Trudy Inst. Zool. Parasitol. Akad. 
Nauk Turk. SSR, 3, pp. 141-147. 


1851. A catalogue of the Mammalia in the Museum of the Hon. East India Co. 
London, vi+212 pp. 


1842a. The Wild Sheep of Afghanistan — "Koh-i-poombur" of the Afghauns. — 
Bearded Sheep of Pennant? (Oris cycloceros, Nobis). Calcutta Jour. Nat. 
Hist., 2, pp. 514-521. 

1842b. "Borz of the Afghans" — Wild Goat of Afghanistan, "The Pasang" of 
Authors {Capra aegagrtis). Calcutta Jour. Nat. Hist., 2, pp. 523-535. 

1842c. "Markhore or the Snake-Eater" of the Afghans. — "Wild Goat of Af- 
ghanistan {Capra megaceros). Calcutta Jour. Nat. Hist., 2, pp. 535-542. 

1845. Rough notes on the zoology of Candahar and the neighbouring districts 
(with footnotes by E. Blyth). Jour. Asiat. Soc. Bengal, 14, pp. 340-354. 

1846. Rough notes on the Zoology of Candahar and the Neighbouring Districts 
(with footnotes by E. Blyth). Jour. Asiat. Soc. Bengal, 15, pp. 135-170. 

Irwin, Lieut. 

1839. Memoir on the climate, soil, produce, and husbandry of Afghanistan 
and the neighbouring countries. Jour. Asiat. Soc. Bengal, Calcutta, pt. Ill, 
8, no. 2, pp. 1,005-1,015. 


1965. O Biologii Kamyshovogo Kota v Yuzhnam Uzbekistane (Biology of the 
Jungle Cat — Felis chaus — in southern Uzbekistan). Zool. Zhur., 44, no. 4, 
pp. 630-632. 


1944. Siphonoptera collected by Mr. J. L. Chaworth-Masters in north eastern 
Afghanistan. Proc. Zool. Soc, London, 114, pp. 360-367. 

Kashkarov, D. and L. Lein 

1927. The Yellow Ground Squirrel of Turkestan, Cynomys fulvus oxianus 
Thomas. Ecology, 8, no. 1, pp. 63-71. 


1965. "Die Saugetiere Afghanistans. I. Carnivora, Artiodactyla, Primates." 

Sci. Quart. Jour. Fac. Sci. Kabul, pp. 1-17 (in German). 
1966-67. Der Tiergarten in Kabul — ein Zoo in statu nascendi — Freunde Des 

Kolner Zoo, Heft 4, 9 Jahrgang, pp. 130-134. 

Lay, D. M. 

1967. A study of the mammals of Iran, resulting from the Street Expedition of 
1962-63. Fieldiana: Zool., 54, pp. 1-282. 


Lay, D. M., J. A. W. Anderson, and J. D. Hassinger 

1970. New records of small mammals from West Pakistan and Iran. Mam- 
malia, 34, no. 1, pp. 98-106. 

Lindsay, H. M. 

1929. Indian Shrews: Scientific results from the Mammal Survey No. XLVIII. 
Jour. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc, 33, pp. 326-340. 


1900. On the variation of the weasel (Putorius nivalis, Linn.). Ann. Mag. 
Nat. Hist., ser. 7, 5, p. 436. 

Lydekker, R. 

1908. Gazella yarkandenain kennioni. Field, III, p. 499. 

1913. Catalogue of the ungulate mammals in the Briti-sh Mu.seum (Natural 
History), London. I, p. 197. 

McDonald, W. 

1968. Marco Polo Sheep. Karatasi Yanye Habari, 15, no. 1, pp. 10-14. 

Murray, J. A. 

1886. Description of a new Gerbillns from Sind. Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., 17, 
p. 246. 

1887. The Zoology of Beloochistan and Southern Afghanistan. Indian Ann. 
Mag. Nat. Sci., ser. 1, nos. 2, 3, pp. 50-68, 105-131. 

Niethammer, J. 

1965. Die Saugetiere Afghanistans. II. Insectivora, Rt>dentia, Lagomorpha. 
Science, Quart. Jour. Fac. Sci. Kabul, pp. 18-41. 

1966. Zur Ernahrung des Sumpfluchses (Felis chaus Guldenslaedt, 1776) in 
Afghanistan. Z. Saugetier., 31, no. 5, p. 393. 

1967. Die Flughornchen (Petauristinae) Afghanistans. Bonner Zool. Beitrage, 
18 (1 and 2), pp. 2-14, 11 figs., 3 tbls. 

1969. Zur Taxonomie der Ohranigel in Afghanistan (Gattung Hemiechinm). 
Z. Saugetier., 34, no. 5, pp. 257-274, 13 figs. 

1969. Die Weldmaus, Apodemus sylmticus (Linne, 1758), in Afghanistan. 
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1970. Die Wiihlmause Afghanistans. Bonner Zool. Beitrage, 21 (1 and 2), 
pp. 1-24, 13 figs., 9 tbls. 

NoviKOV, G. A. 

1956. Carnivorous mammals of the fauna of the USSR. Acad. Sci. USSR, 
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1928. Mammals of eastern Europe and northern Asia, Insectivora and Chirop- 
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1931. Mammals of eastern Europe and northern A.sia, Carnivora, Vol. 2. Mo.s- 
cow, Leningrad. 775 pp., 202 figs. (Trans, from Russian in 1962 by the Israel 
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1935. The mammals of eastern Europe and northern Asia, Carnivora, Vol. 3, 
Moscow, Leningrad. 752 pp., 299 figs., 19 maps. (Trans, from Russian in 
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1947. The mammals of eastern Europe and northern Asia, Rodents, Vol. 5. 
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1950. The mammals of eastern Europe and northern Asia, Rodents, Vol. 7. 
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MS. Notes on Afghanistan mammals. Made in 1948-49 while participating 
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1961. Repartition geographique et ecologie des Rongeurs Desertiques (du Sa- 
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1932. The Rhesus Macaques (Macaco mulatta). Jour. Bombay Nat. Hist. 

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Primates and Carnivora, Vol. I. London, xxxiii+463 pp. 
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Carnivora. Vol.11. London, xii + 503 pp. 

1951. Catalogue of the genus Felis. London. 190 pp., 8 figs. 


1895. Shooting Oris [sic] polii on the Pamirs. Jour. Bombay Nat. Hist., 10, 
pp. 53-62. 

Popov, A. V. 

1962. Bol'sheukhaya pishchukha v Badkhshane. [The large-eared pika in the 
Badakhshan Mountains of Afghanistan]. Izv. Akad. Nauk. Tadzh. SSR- 
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1966. The discovery of the bear Selenarctos thibetanus (G. Cuvier, 1893) in 
Afghanistan. Zool. Listy, 15, no. 4, pp. 305-316. 

PovoLNY, D. and M. Daniel 

1966. Some findings of parasitic Diptera from warm-blooded vertebrates in 
the Hindukush and mountains and lower localities of Afghanistan. Folia 
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Raverty, H. G. 

1859. Notes on Kafiristan. Jour. Asiat. Soc. Bengal, Calcutta, 28, no. 4, 
pp. 317-368. 


1912. Color standards and color nomenclature. Washington, D. C. Published 
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1967. Mammals of the Lyallpur region. West Pakistan. Jour. Mammal., 28, 
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1947. Mammals of eastern Asia. Macmillan Publ. Co., New York, xiv-f- 
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1918. Four new species of hedgehog. Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., ser. 9, 1 , pp. 230- 

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The exact location and spelling of Afghan place names is often 
difficult because of differing ways of transliterating names from 
Arabic to English letters, as well as the application (on different 
maps and in the literature) of various names to one locality or one 
name to several localities. This real or potential ambiguity is com- 
pounded further by the instability of province names and bound- 
aries. Therefore, to make the exact location of distribution records 
more certain, each locality is designated by a place name and, for 
finding purposes, map co-ordinates. In addition, place names have 
been listed with an appropriate natural area (see fig. 49). 

This gazetteer is limited to place names that are cited in the text 
of this paper. When possible, the place names and co-ordinates em- 
ployed by the Times Atlas of the World, Mid-Century Edition, John 
Bartholomew (1959) , are used. Otherwise, reference is made to maps 
compiled by the Army Map Service and published by the Corps of 
Engineers, Washington, D. C: Afghanistan 1301 Series, 1:1,000,000 
(1960); and 0511 Series, 1:253, 440 (1941, 1942, and 1948). 

The abbreviation ca. before co-ordinates indicates that the place 
name was not found on any of the maps used, but according to infor- 
mation provided in the literature or by the collector (in litt.), should 
lie at or near the point given. Co-ordinates prefixed with an aster- 
isk (*) depict a general region or locality rather than a point. 

To facilitate the use of this gazetteer, Figures 1 and 2 (from 
Hassinger, 1968, pp. 14, 16) are here reproduced as Figures 49 and 50. 

Page 190 
Fig. 49. The natural areas and geographic relationships of Afghanistan. 

Page 191. 

Fig. 50. Major natural features of Afghanistan and the geobotanical prov- 
inces of Linchevsiiy and Prozorovsky (1949). 








North Lat. East Long, 


See Ab-i-Istada 



32.32 67.57 

Amu Darya (river) 

North Afghan boundary 

See fig. 50 

Anjuman Pass 


*35.50 70.07 

Arghandab River 

East, South 

See fig. 50 


Tadjikistan, S.S.R. 


A natural area 

See fig. 49 

Badghis (region) 


*35.10 62.00 

Badkhyz Reserve 

Turkmeniya, S.S.R. 

*35.50 61.40 


See Baqrabad 

Bala Murghab 


35.34 64.35 



36.46 66.50 

Balkh River 


Baluchistan (province) 

W. Pakistan 

See fig. 49 


See Bamiyan 



34.49 67.56 

Bandau Hills 


ca. *30.30 61.25 



31.30 61.37 

Bashgul River 

Monsoonal Afgh. 

Kunar R. tributary 


See Baluchistan 


Jalalabad Vale 

ca. 70.30 34.24 


North /Northwest' 

63.32 35.43 


See Bokan 

Bolan Pass 

W. Pakistan 

*29.40 67.30 


See Kabul 


See Kandahar 

Central Afgh. 

A natural area 

See fig. 49 

Chagha Sarai 

See Chigha Sarai 



35.02 69.13 



34.50 61.35 

Chashma-Sabz Pass 


*34.53 61.37 

Chap Darrah 


Not located 

Chialtan Range 

W. Pakistan 

*35.30 72.00 

Chigha Sarai 

Monsoonal Afgh. 

34.52 71.10 

Chitral Valley 

W. Pakistan 

*35.45 71.50 



35.51 68.30 


See Dahana 


B adakhshan /N or th 

ca. 69.20 37.10 



32.05 61.35 



33.44 67.45 


See Dasht-i-Nawar 



32.11 63.27 



35.29 68.52 



35.38 68.43 

East Afgh. 

A natural area 

See fig. 49 


See Ishkamish 



*31.32 61.36 



32.23 62.08 

Farah Rud (river) 

South and Central 

See fig. 50 


See Galichah 

' A diagonal (/) indicates that the locality in question more or less straddles 
the transition zone between two or more natural areas. 






North Lat. 

East Long 







































W. Pakistan 




See Golandar 







Monsoonal Afgh. Nuristan 




See Gursalak 

Hari Rud (river) Central, West See fig. 50 

Hazara (village) Central 32.48 65.54 
Hazara Hills, not located but presumably near the village of Hazara. 

Hazarajat (region) Central •33.45 66.00 

Helmand River Central, South See fig. 50 

Herat West 32.20 62.10 

Hindu Kush Mtns. Western extension of the Himalayas in Afghanistan. 

Huzzarrah Hills See Hazara hills 

Iranian Plateau— A large plateau encompassing parts of: Iran, Baluchistan, and 


Ishkamish Badakhshan 36.43 71.34 

Ishmurkh Darrah Wakhan Not located 

Islam Qala West 34.39 61.03 


Jalalabad Vale 











Kambao Pass 












Kila Wall 


Kizil Islam Qal'eh 


Koh-i-Baba Mtns. 

Jalalabad Vale 
A natural area 



Tadzhikistan, S.S.R. 

West Northwest 
Monsoonal Afgh. 


North /Northwest 
A province 

Jalalabad Vale 


W. Pakistan 

34.26 70.25 

See fig. 49 

27.36 62.41 

See Jalk 

36.50 70.52 

31.42 61.40 

34.30 69.10 

See Nuristan 
See Qaven 
38.30 70.45 

32.05 66.53 

See Laghman 
•35.05 61.26 

35.25 71.26 

See Kham-i-Ab 
31.36 65.47 

See Qala-i-Kang 
See Karawal-Khana 

35.43 63.14 
37.00 69.00 
37.32 65.42 
36.42 69.05 
See Kalat-i-Ghilzai 

•34.06 71.55 

See Qala Vali 
32.15 61.35 

See Islam Qala 
33.32 71.30 

See fig. 50 







North Lat. East Long 





Kojak Pass 

W. Pakistan 



Kokcha River 


See fig. 50 


W. Pakistan 



Kukche River 

See Kokcha River 










Turkmeniya, S.S.R. 








Monsoonal Afgh. /Nuristan 




Jalalabad Vale/Monsoonal 




Lataband Pass 




Maiden-Tal Valley 









Monsoonal Afgh. 




See Mangalpur 


See Maruchak 













Miana Bam 




Monsoonal Afgh. 

A natural area 

See fig, 49 

Murghab River 

Northwest, North 

See fig. 50 

Musa Qala 









See Nao 


East ca, 34.40 



See Nijrao 

North Afgh. 

A natural area 

See fig. 49 

Northwest Afgh. 

A natural area 

See fig. 49 


W. Pakistan 



Nushki Plateau 

W. Pakistan 


A natural area 

See fig. 49 





Oxus River 


See Amu Darya 






A province 



Pamir Mtns. 

Tadzhikistan, S.S.R. 

See fig. 50 





Panjir Valley 

See Panjshi 

ir Valley 

Panjshir Valley 

Central, East, Nuristan 




W. Pakistan 



Paropamisus Mtns. 

Northwest, Central, West 

See fig. 50 

Parun Valley 

Monsoonal Afgh. /Nuristan 




Monsoonal Afgh. /Nuristan 



Pech Valley 

Monsoonal Afgh. /Nuristan 



Peiwar Kotal (pass) 


*33 . 58 


Pesch Valley 

See Pech Valley 


Monsoonal Afgh. /Nuristan 







Pyrandzh River 

Tadzhikistan, S.S.R. 







Qala Nau 









North Lat. East Long, 

Qala Vali 









W. Pakistan 



Safed Koh (mtn.) 

East, Monsoonal 





W. Pakistan 







Salang Pass 












Sar-i-Kol (lake) 




Safid Koh 

See Safed Koh 






Monsoonal Afgh./Nuristan 



Shamshir Ghar (cave) 





See Shibarghan 





Shibar Pass 




Sim Koh (mtn.) 




Simkoh Hills 

See Sim K«) 


Simkoh Hills 

(Type locality of AllacUigci 

elater indica) 

Not located 


Siri Kol 

See Sar-i-K 



See Seistan 

Soolimaun Mtns. 

See Sulaiman Mtns. 

South Afgh. 

A natural area 

See fig. 49 

Spin Baldak 





Monsoonal Afgh. 




Sufyd Koh 

See Safed Koh 

Sulaiman Mtns. 

W. Pakistan 



Surkhab River 

Tributary of Kabul River 















Toba Plateau 

W. Pakistan 



Tulobi Valley 




Turbat-shaikh-jami River Iran 




See Turkmeniya 

Turkmeniya (province) 


See fig. 49 

Victoria Lake 

See Sar-i-Kol 


A natural area 

See ng. 49 


Mon.soonal Afgh. 





See Baikh 

Weran Pass 

Nuristan /Badakhshan 



Weran Valley 

Nuristan /Badakhshan 



West Afgh. 

A natural area 

See fig. 49 






in Zhob Valley, W 

'. Pakistan 

Not located 





Zhob Valley 

W. Pakistan 



Zroabad River 




Publication 1162